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Re: Cell phone plan on cruise - direct experience?

I have not used one but you might also consider renting a satellite phone.
by Watty
Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone plan on cruise - direct experience?
Replies: 5
Views: 313

Re: How to safely sell a big ticket item online

Don't even think of using PayPal, you basically sign away your rights when you use then. Think I've got it figured out. If the buyer has a bank/credit union in a distant location (like I do), I make the phone call to that institution using a phone number I find on the internet. The buyer will give h...
by Watty
Wed Aug 27, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to safely sell a big ticket item online
Replies: 30
Views: 1229

Re: Can someone make a living as a Boglehead financial advis

Is a young man/woman/s who wants to be a Boglehead investment advisor pretty much doomed before he/she starts? If so, how sad. What do you think? Is it a hopeless endeavor except for a few like Rick Ferri who manage to market to a large client base? There are a number of possibilities for something...
by Watty
Wed Aug 27, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can someone make a living as a Boglehead financial advisor?
Replies: 17
Views: 1630

Re: vacation destinations similar to Savannah or Charleston

We love Charleston SC and Savannah, and would love to visit another beach area with that same vibe Saint Augustine would be worth looking at. In addition to the historic areas there are lots of beaches real close by. From there you could take a day trip to tour Cape Canaveral too if that is somethi...
by Watty
Tue Aug 26, 2014 8:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: vacation destinations similar to Savannah or Charleston SC
Replies: 24
Views: 1435

Re: Should we invest or pay off mortgage ?

Even if you can find an investment that should slightly beat your mortgage interest rate after taxes you are likely only talking about it beating it by a fraction of a percent unless you take a lot of additional risk. Realistically you have a very limited upside but if interest rates spike then thin...
by Watty
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we invest or pay off mortgage ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1589

Re: Auto accident today

Car repairs are expensive, I would be amazed if there were not at least several thousand dollars in damage to his car and he will want a rental car for a week or more while his car is in the shop. It isn't like this was a parking lot ding. Many states require that an accident be reported to the stat...
by Watty
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto accident today
Replies: 33
Views: 2489

Re: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?

Current home is worth about $130,000 and the new house would be around $250,000. Would probably put 20% down but would prefer no more than that to avoid selling taxable investments. ..... I'm 11 years into a 15 year mortgage and principal is getting paid down very quickly. Let's assume I earn aroun...
by Watty
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to leave a neighborhood for greener pastures?
Replies: 32
Views: 3071

Re: Should we invest or pay off mortgage ?

Keeping the mortgage so you can invest the money is using leverage. It could very well be a good bet but even if it would work out well the majority of the time there is always a risk that some percentage of the time it will work out badly. A fundamental thing to look at when taking additional risk ...
by Watty
Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we invest or pay off mortgage ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1589

Re: Earthquake Preparedness

Figuring out how you might rebuild after a major disaster is tricky even if you have good insurance. In addition to your house, the place where you work could have damage and at least temporarily be closed so you might not have any income from a job which could make it hard to afford to rebuild. You...
by Watty
Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake Preparedness
Replies: 39
Views: 1974

Re: Earthquake Preparedness

this might have been their first (semi) "big one". Not even close. Todays earthquake was 6.1 the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake was around 7.8, which calculates out to having about 355 times as much energy released and the eventual "big one" could be larger than that. http://eart...
by Watty
Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Earthquake Preparedness
Replies: 39
Views: 1974

Re: Help Requested - home purchase "cash" or mortgage

1: Retirement is well ahead of schedule and in fact I am looking at having a RMD problem in the future given my high 401k balances. To paraphrase a bumper sticker "Life Happens". With 35 years until the RMD's start there is plenty that could happen, both good and bad, that would cause you...
by Watty
Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help Requested - home purchase "cash" or mortgage
Replies: 8
Views: 974

Re: What 5 stocks can I own forever?

I am about to redeem from a hedge fund and want to put all of the proceeds into about 5 quality dividend paying stocks that I can hold for decades. Can anybody recommend what they like. I already own a basket of great Vanguard index funds and have a good allocation to bonds as well. Thanks. An addi...
by Watty
Sun Aug 24, 2014 10:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What 5 stocks can I own forever?
Replies: 58
Views: 4296

Re: Old Employer 401K to Vanguard Traditional IRA

My wife has $5800 in a past employer 401K in a target date fund with an expense ratio of 1.01%. That is only costing you and extra $50 a year which is not ideal but paying for a Roth conversion in a high tax bracket could cost you a lot more. Leaving it there would not be all that bad and there mig...
by Watty
Sat Aug 23, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old Employer 401K to Vanguard Traditional IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 951

Re: 87 Year Old Grandmother Has $600,000 In the Bank

This money is currently spread across three bank accounts and is used, along with a trust that owns rental property, to support my fiance's 87 year old grandmother. I am still figuring out all of the particulars (it just came to my attention that the money is invested in this way) but I estimate th...
by Watty
Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 87 Year Old Grandmother Has $600,000 In the Bank
Replies: 42
Views: 5436

Re: Should I fix a "totaled" car

There is no way that I would put that much into fixing a car that has $130K miles. There is also a good chance that there will be additional problems found during the repairs and it would cost more or there will be something like electrical problems that will be quirky for as long as you own the car...
by Watty
Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I fix a "totaled" car
Replies: 26
Views: 1726

Re: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?

I caught part of a car collector TV show where they were talking about how car collector prices of popular cars tend to follow the ages of of the people that were young when the cars came out. As I recall they were talking about common 1950's cars that were dropping in prices since few people that w...
by Watty
Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it me, or are "collectibles" worthless in 2014?
Replies: 79
Views: 5878

Re: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?

My favorite story about people not taking much vacation time was told to me by an auditor that I was working with on an unrelated project. It was about a company that had a very dedicated employee that rarely took a vacation day and came in to work even when he should have stayed home sick. He was h...
by Watty
Fri Aug 22, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you take all of your allowed paid vacation time?
Replies: 80
Views: 4868

Re: Low Tax Bracket & Almost Retired - Tax Exempt or Not??

There are two more things to consider; 1) Her combined tax bracket including her state taxes. 2) If she will be in the income range were more of her social security becomes taxable with more income then her effective tax bracket could be a lot higher than 15% even though it looks like that is the ta...
by Watty
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Low Tax Bracket & Almost Retired - Tax Exempt or Not??
Replies: 11
Views: 1126

Re: Advice on 401k - Traditional vs Roth

This is a hard question to answer since the ideal choice would be to have a mixture of account types so you will have more options when you are retired. If you are in the 25% or higher federal tax bracket it would take some compelling reasons, which is very possible, to choose a Roth when you could ...
by Watty
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on 401k - Traditional vs Roth
Replies: 17
Views: 1276

Re: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?

Just a couple of months ago I bought a new pair, but recently suffered an unfortunate mishap and destroyed my glasses. So I need a new pair. I already used my insurance benefits, so i'd have to pay completely out of pocket. If you paid for the glasses with a credit card be sure to check to see is t...
by Watty
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good place to buy eyeglasses without insurance?
Replies: 32
Views: 1722

Re: Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers

I have not followed how much they use it but with that much stock Vanguard should have a lot of clout with the companies that it owns shares of so they may be able to help get companies more focused on doing what is in the shareholders best interests.
by Watty
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors Pour Into Vanguard, Eschewing Stock Pickers
Replies: 70
Views: 6418

Re: Driving in Costa Rica

There several shuttle companies that you can get to take you between towns so you don't need to hire a private van. You will likely be there in the high season so be sure to make reservations for transportation, or a rental car well in advance. Taking a van to and from Arenal and renting a car there...
by Watty
Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Driving in Costa Rica
Replies: 23
Views: 1604

Re: Subaru Blues

I'm wondering what sort of problem would cause these symptoms. I sounds like some sort of computer problem, it could be simple or complex but it should still be under warranty. I once had a different brand car with almost 50K miles totally die with a computer problem, but it was still covered under...
by Watty
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Subaru Blues
Replies: 74
Views: 5714

Re: Sport of Fencing question

I would pay a visit to the high school coach and ask him how your son might best prepare. +1 It has been many years but I did some fencing in high school and even though it was a large high school everyone that wanted to be on the fencing team was welcome since they did not have so many people that...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sport of Fencing question
Replies: 5
Views: 535

Re: 401k versus Roth IRA

In case have not heard of doing this, you can use last years tax software you can make up a dummy copy of your tax return to see how making different choices will change your taxes. It will not be exact because of tax law changes but it adding or subtracting $100 in income will show your your true m...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k versus Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 675

Re: Retirement Planning

Your clarifying statement regarding your professions was helpful. Given your tax bracket I would suggest that you contribute the $10,000 to your 403b. While not great, you have S&P 500, Mid Cap and Small Cap options that are not horrible. For the time being I would invest there. You might consi...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning
Replies: 14
Views: 1523

Re: Retirement Investment Help

If you have not read it already you might start by reading the Bogleheads guide to investing http://www.amazon.com/s/?search-alias=aps&tag=bogleheads.org-20&field-keywords=Bogleheads There is also a "getting started wiki" in case you have not see it. http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Investment Help
Replies: 2
Views: 353

Re: Parents sold second home. Need advice on how to invest

denovo wrote:
Ged wrote:The first suggestion is to avoid financial managers!

If their income needs are truly met I'd suggest a 3 fund portfolio at Vanguard with about 50% in equities.


This.


+1

At the very least they need to know exactly how the financial adviser is compensated.
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Parents sold second home. Need advice on how to invest $$$
Replies: 5
Views: 644

Re: Should non-vested retirement assets be treated different

Should non-vested retirement assets be treated differently?


You may not have the choice to invest it differently if it is a cash match. At least in my 401K the company match is invested the same as the rest of your portfolio and you cannot specify a different investment for it.
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should non-vested retirement assets be treated differently?
Replies: 8
Views: 448

Re: 401k versus Roth IRA

Thank you for the very informative response. When I went to withdraw the money I just put into the Roth it was asking me the reason. Early withdrawal or early withdrawal with disability. It's lost a dollar so it's all contribution. How do I get it out? It's only $300 but I may as well get it out. I...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k versus Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 675

Re: Help talk family out of moving money to new attractive f

There has been a gentleman named Neil Woodford from here in the UK. Apparently he has been having great results for quite some time. You can see his performance here. There is also a video of him speaking. One thing to notice is that the graph he gives compares his performance to the "sector a...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help talk family out of moving money to new attractive fund
Replies: 4
Views: 485

Re: 401k versus Roth IRA

Tax Rate: 25% Federal (118k taxable last year for HH), 0% State Unless you are on a high income career path that is just getting started then in the 25% tax bracket it would take a compelling reason, which is possible, to pass up a deductible retirement account to go with a Roth. Except for being a...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k versus Roth IRA
Replies: 15
Views: 675

Re: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?

I’m thinking lump and rollover to IRAs. I would assume that the figures you gave were for starting the pension at 65 and that the pensions are not inflation adjusted. If so then you can put the lump sum into the IRA's and then buy a SPIA when you are retired. If interest rates are higher then you w...
by Watty
Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension – Lump Sum Rollover or Keep it?
Replies: 9
Views: 645

Re: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement

I buy a few more audiobooks. My local library has a lot of ebooks available, too, but its audio selection is dismal. I have Netflix, but do not watch TV. I spend about $60 for audiobooks per month and $9 approximately for Netflix. Eating out about $120. Pedicure once per month $50. Haircut $25. FYI...
by Watty
Sun Aug 17, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was Underestimated\Overestimated in Retirement
Replies: 48
Views: 4655

Re: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash

Some PenFed credit cards have no foreign transaction fee and no cash advance fee. https://www.penfed.org/credit-card-overview/ I use one for cash advances from an ATM there when I travel and it works just fine. Interest is charged from the time you make the withdrawal but I pay it off as soon as I r...
by Watty
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Europe travel: best card for ATM cash
Replies: 33
Views: 1945

Re: Moving after retirement.

Here are my reasons for staying put.


It sounds like you would be crazy to move unless you were in a dire financial situation, and even then you might be able to move to a less expensive nearby house or apartment.
by Watty
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving after retirement.
Replies: 43
Views: 3721

Re: Is buying two SUVs a sane/good financial move?

One to protect my husband and one because I am a bad driver. Is this a sound decision? One consideration for your husbands situation is that airbags can cause injuries even to people without health issues. Airbags are sometimes referred to as being first, second, or third generation airbags with ea...
by Watty
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is buying two SUVs a sane/good financial move?
Replies: 63
Views: 3699

Re: need advice on soon to retire parents

Watty wrote: What is the interest rate on their current mortgage? Since they will be selling in a few years they might pay off their current mortgage now which would be like getting a CD at the same interest rate(after adjusting for taxes). When they sell it and move they they could use that cash t...
by Watty
Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need advice on soon to retire parents
Replies: 8
Views: 1211

Re: Getting Married, traveling abroad

The Rick Steve's books and web site are very good. TripAdvisor is good for reading hotel reviews. We typically find that we are out and about so much when we are over there that we don't spend a lot of time at the hotel so as long and it is clean and safe we don't need a real high end hotel. If you ...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Married, traveling abroad
Replies: 25
Views: 1363

Re: Is the goal in sight? Should I relax?

A couple of things that were not mentioned. 1) Social security; that will provide a significant percentage of your desired income. You may only need to provide $70K or less other income to hit your goal of $100K in income. 2) Your income needs will vary with your age. When you are in your mid 70's o...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is the goal in sight? Should I relax?
Replies: 19
Views: 2317

Re: How much to leave for young children, guardian and famil

A trust is the vehicle you need to accomplish your desires. A skilled trustee can carry out your wishes. You can't expect to lay down such a specific plan today without the intervention of someone down the road who can adjust for changed conditions. Gill +1 It is also possible that the guardian wil...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to leave for young children, guardian and family
Replies: 12
Views: 1324

Re: need advice on soon to retire parents

My only concern is that for the next 2-3 years the interest on the bonds will be taxed pretty high considering almost all their wealth is in a taxable account. Seams like the tax will add up to about $8K+ over 3 years (more if the fund increases and if they continue to contribute to it.) Once retir...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: need advice on soon to retire parents
Replies: 8
Views: 1211

Re: How to value house with unwanted tennis court

It would be good to be cautious about how you approach the seller about taking out the tennis court. Sellers can have a lot of emotional memories about things like tennis courts or other features of the house and talking about taking it out might make the discussion difficult. I would not bring it u...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to value house with unwanted tennis court
Replies: 24
Views: 2115

Re: Strategic Default [on a property]

The condo is STILL 25-30k under water 8 years later. He currently has a renter that covers the mortgage interest, but that's about it. The proverbial straw may have come last week when the condo HOA hit him with a $4,500 special assessment due in Nov. A short sale that the bank agrees to is one thi...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategic Default [on a property]
Replies: 42
Views: 3057

Re: Lifestyle Creep

What would you share with others regarding lifestyle creep? I once went to three funerals within a year of people that were more or less my age. That helped me spend more on the “now” side of the “Now vs Later” equation I am still a little bit away from when I want to retire but what really helped ...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lifestyle Creep
Replies: 22
Views: 2642

Re: Medical Alert System

What are certain things and features to look for? My Mom used one of them(am not sure which one) for a few years and had to use it twice so it was well worthwhile. I would assume that most of them are waterproof and can be worn in the bath or shower but it would be good to double check and to make ...
by Watty
Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Alert System
Replies: 19
Views: 900

Re: Debit VS Credit Cards Security

I don't have a link handy but a lot of the changes are getting ready got when new rules go into effect in October of 2015 when new fraud rules basically make the old magnetic stripe cards obsolete. There is really no upside to having a debit card and lots of downsides since you have no leverage in c...
by Watty
Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debit VS Credit Cards Security
Replies: 19
Views: 1499

Re: Marketwatch article: Make your kid rich for $1 a day

I assumed I'd have to move it over in gift limit increments each year but is there another way you guys can think of? Keep it in you own name and let them inherit it some day, that way they can get decades of capital gains at a stepped up cost basis and never have to pay taxes on it. Realistically ...
by Watty
Wed Aug 13, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Marketwatch article: Make your kid rich for $1 a day
Replies: 7
Views: 1305

Re: Pay off that Mortgage?

Assume one has a 3.4%/30 year with 28 years or so to run. Funds are available to either (a) pay off, or (b) invest. One investing option is a 3.3%/10 year CD. Thoughts? Disregard Garn-StGermain, as it's a tad too esoteric. The mere 10 bp difference over the first ten years makes me reluctant to sur...
by Watty
Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off that Mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 2518

Re: Motorcycle for short commute?

or a half hour walk That is likely only a little bit over a mile. Thinking outside the box: If a bicycle would make you too sweaty then an electric scooter, like some older people use, might be an option depending on the rout. Many of them limit the speed for safety for less agile older people but ...
by Watty
Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motorcycle for short commute?
Replies: 63
Views: 3692
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