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Re: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?

I use all the following: ⋅ Quicken bill pay initiated by me each billing period. Credit cards, two utilities without automated payment plans. ⋅ Credit card company automatically draws minimum payment from checking account ("Plan B" in case number 1 goes wrong somehow). ...
by bertilak
Sat Mar 28, 2015 5:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Recurring utility bills - How do you pay?
Replies: 43
Views: 2730

Re: lump sum and dollar cost averaging

Clearly DCA has less risk than lump-sum so it manifests as an expected decrease in returns. Sure DCA reduces risk, but only for the period over which the DCA is active. Once you are finished with the DCA process you are right where you would be, risk wise, with a lump sum investment. You are now wa...
by bertilak
Tue Mar 24, 2015 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: lump sum and dollar cost averaging
Replies: 95
Views: 6653

Re: External Hard Drive?

jebmke wrote:
Postmon wrote:CP maintains old copies of your files which is a critical feature in my opinion.

Yes, very import and and highly configurable with excellent defaults as shown:
Image
by bertilak
Mon Mar 23, 2015 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 44
Views: 2318

Re: External Hard Drive?

Any recommended external HD's? Would a a solid state drive be an option (sorry, don't know much about them)? Thanks again, Ryan I don't think a solid state drive (SSD) is appropriate for backup. SSDs are good for speed, not capacity. They are great for increasing system boot times and overall respo...
by bertilak
Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: External Hard Drive?
Replies: 44
Views: 2318

Re: Opened an account Vanguard yesterday, now having cold fe

I didn't read through this whole thread so I may be repeating what's already been said. In any case here is a quote from the article and my response: Q: So what should individual investors do, as a result? A: I would advise that people look at what Warren Buffett is doing. For one of his most recent...
by bertilak
Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opened an account Vanguard yesterday, now having cold feet
Replies: 60
Views: 3642

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Just finished "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. Historical fiction about the Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 (the White City) and the counter-point story of serial killer Dr. Holmes. Extensive research and foot notes. Most interesting. I've also read Isaac's Storm...
by bertilak
Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 576
Views: 79631

Re: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?

About IRAs, RMDs, etc... I found this: http://whitecoatinvestor.com/individual-retirement-annuity-the-solution-to-the-spia-rmd-dilemma/ Read the whole thing, but scroll down to "Individual Retirement Annuity" for a nice summary. It lists three different ways one can mix and match IRAs and ...
by bertilak
Fri Mar 13, 2015 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?
Replies: 117
Views: 4802

Re: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?

In normal inflation (call it <4%) schemes like this work fine. If we hit something like 10% inflation for a decade, you will find the original SPIA gets eroded quickly and your other assets might not be worth enough to purchase replacements (see the 70s). How big that risk is and if you want to wor...
by bertilak
Thu Mar 12, 2015 10:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?
Replies: 117
Views: 4802

Re: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?

About dealing with inflation risk of annuities... When I was considering the need for an SPIA, and whether or not to pay for inflation indexing, I was leaning towards buying a nominal SPIA, but relying on the size of my portfolio to allow me to buy subsequent nominal SPIA(s) to make up the differenc...
by bertilak
Thu Mar 12, 2015 4:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?
Replies: 117
Views: 4802

Re: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?

itstoomuch wrote:Gosh, Nesaid, I imagined you to be much older. :oops:

He doesn't look very old in his picture!
by bertilak
Thu Mar 12, 2015 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not use inflation-adjusted SPIA?
Replies: 117
Views: 4802

Re: Anyone Else Think Nest Thermostat is Buggy?

It is pretty easy to program although I do admit the interface could be better if done on my computer over wifi but that seems like massive overkill for a set-and-forget application. As an embedded system designer it's not always that using the computer (or cellphone) is a better interface. It's th...
by bertilak
Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Else Think Nest Thermostat is Buggy?
Replies: 30
Views: 2827

Re: Anyone Else Think Nest Thermostat is Buggy?

Perhaps if I bought and installed one I would see the benefit, but my current thermostat is already programmable: ⋅ Each day of the week can be programmed separately. You can also select multiple days to apply settings to all the selected days. ⋅ Each day can change the target te...
by bertilak
Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Else Think Nest Thermostat is Buggy?
Replies: 30
Views: 2827

Re: If you could send an investment message 10 years in the

It would be to read everything that Jack Bogle wrote.

I really wish I could send a message back 30 years! I would be a very rich man by now, even without specific buy/sell recommendations. The message would have been of the nature "save, invest, stick with it."
by bertilak
Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you could send an investment message 10 years in the past
Replies: 62
Views: 4274

Re: How long did you stay in your starter home?

Toons wrote:17 years. :happy

Me too, exactly!

I was surprised -- especially that I STILL had over 20 years to go on my mortgage!
by bertilak
Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did you stay in your starter home?
Replies: 87
Views: 4631

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

http://sohopress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/Outsider-in-Amsterdam-9.99-396x600.jpg Rereading this and the whole series. This one is the first. No real need to read them in order; each is completely stand-alone. From the publisher: Janwillem van de Wetering (1931–2008) was born and raised in Rot...
by bertilak
Sat Mar 07, 2015 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 576
Views: 79631

Re: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of

Thanks all. I certainly will not make changes without careful consideration and you have given me plenty to consider. I see no need to rush with this.
by bertilak
Wed Mar 04, 2015 11:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1689

Re: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of

tibbitts wrote:Whose idea was the choice of a LS fund for a $25k lump sum in a taxable account in the first place?

That's what was left over after maxing out her 401(k) and IRAs.
by bertilak
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1689

Re: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of

1) How does your daughter feel about it? She does not have strong opinions on this kind of thing. I certainly will do nothing without her concurrence. 2) Having picked an all-in-one fund like LifeStrategy Growth, you can't expect it to be a perfect match to your own tastes. Is it really so far off?...
by bertilak
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1689

More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of it?

My 33 y/o daughter has about $25K invested in Vanguard's Life Strategy Growth fund in a taxable account. She also has smaller amounts in IRAs, traditional and Roth, invested in the same fund. I don't like that VG is increasing the foreign exposure in both stocks and bonds. What if VG does something ...
by bertilak
Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: More intl exposure in Life Strategy Growth - drop out of it?
Replies: 17
Views: 1689

Re: Roth IRA a good place for your emergency fund?

Yes! If one is unable to contribute to a Roth IRA unless they use their emergency fund to do so, then this would be considered an emergency in my book and the legitimate use of the emergency fund money. Just do not invest in risky equities since one might have to withdraw the money in a second emer...
by bertilak
Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA a good place for your emergency fund?
Replies: 6
Views: 560

Re: Roth IRA a good place for your emergency fund?

No. If you ever use the money you will permanently lose that tax-free space. Keep your emergency money where its use will not mess up your nest egg.
by bertilak
Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth IRA a good place for your emergency fund?
Replies: 6
Views: 560

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Even if the quality of food does not improve, when people face fewer options they are more likely to get engaged. This is quintessential behavioral economics, in contrast with standard economics where having more choices is always better. One of the most important related findings is that when a 40...
by bertilak
Wed Feb 25, 2015 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 576
Views: 79631

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Picked up a DVD of The Princess Bride and watched it tonight. Not as layered as the book but just as much fun. I have seen the movie (own the DVD) and have read the book (own that too). They are both great. Which is beter? Well, the book is better for reading and the movie is better for watching! T...
by bertilak
Tue Feb 03, 2015 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 655
Views: 86380

Re: Bearish Boglehead, is there such a thing?

I've been thrust at the age of 45 into duties as trustee of a 6M estate, and my own portion thereof. Questioning the AA which I have chosen... Who are the beneficiaries of the trust? If you are to be investing in their best interests think it is important to know what those interests are. Since it ...
by bertilak
Tue Feb 03, 2015 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bearish Boglehead, is there such a thing?
Replies: 45
Views: 3983

Re: Bearish Boglehead, is there such a thing?

I am bearish with half my portfolio (all bonds) and bullish with the other half (all stocks). One or the other will turn out to have been the smart play. The other will probably turn out not bad either.
by bertilak
Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bearish Boglehead, is there such a thing?
Replies: 45
Views: 3983

Re: Vanguard website has Yellow Triangle over lock

I get the same warning, using chrome, at the bogleheads.org site. Edit: I only seem to have the warning on this thread, not on several others. Something to do with read v. edit? It probably has to do with some content on the page, e.g. my tinypic image... see the notice when you click on the yellow...
by bertilak
Mon Feb 02, 2015 5:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard website has Yellow Triangle over lock
Replies: 35
Views: 3555

Re: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocat

Could it be that there is contention because what is most important in one set of circumstances may not be most important in other circumstances? For example: ⋅ A retiree with a mortgage and no other source of income may need to make a critical balance between risk and return. Perhaps annu...
by bertilak
Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wiki comments requested: The importance of asset allocation
Replies: 208
Views: 10608

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I just watched Glen or Glenda , a 1950s movie by, and starring, the infamous Ed Wood, that examines transvestism. It is perhaps the worst movie ever made. It is so bad, it is good. If you get a chance, check out "Plan 9 From Outer Space". It's also an Ed Wood movie and has won awards for ...
by bertilak
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 655
Views: 86380

Re: Assisted Living Facilities... Weird 'Atmosphere...'

No. My mother-in-law lived in two different assisted living facilities. She had friends she ate with in each one and they all chatted. When we visited and ate with them, they talked to us. I would be concerned. Are staff members talking to the residents? Do they have activities for people to partic...
by bertilak
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assisted Living Facilities... Weird 'Atmosphere...'
Replies: 34
Views: 4206

Re: Portfolio Allocation

Vanguard will help with this. Go to My Accounts, the Balances and Holdings. At the bottom of the Balances and holdings page you will see "Outside Investments." Click on "Learn More." That says, in part: you can use our analysis tools to help you better monitor and manage your ent...
by bertilak
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio Allocation
Replies: 4
Views: 423

Re: Some RMD Questions

RMDs can be taken in kind. This happens quite frequently. Any distribution can be taken in kind, not just RMDs. The tax code does not say that RMDs must be taken in cash. The value of the selected shares goes on the 1099R and shares are transferred to a taxable account, usually a brokerage account....
by bertilak
Tue Jan 27, 2015 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

OK, finally got around to asking VG about my questions 4 and 5 in the OP: 4. Vanguard only offered me one "option" on where to send the distributions -- my linked bank account. I would prefer to have the money invested in my VG taxable account. Is this possible? 5. Not only in my taxable ...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 27, 2015 4:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: OLD AGE PENNY PINCHERS

But in response to the OP, why would an income stream, not be counted as wealth? It seems like that is the very definition of wealth. Then perhaps the conversion is being done the wrong way around. Maybe everything should be converted to an income stream instead of the other way around. That's pret...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Clements - 4 strategies for those close to retirement]
Replies: 25
Views: 3362

Re: Some RMD Questions

I will be taking my RMD for the first time this year. i don't think it is a big deal to have the funds sent to my Credit Union. i will just send it back to my taxable account with Vanguard. Agree. No Big Deal. I expect by Dec 2016 when I need to take my first RMD it will all be straightened out and...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 27, 2015 3:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

OK, finally got around to asking VG about my questions 4 and 5 in the OP: 4. Vanguard only offered me one "option" on where to send the distributions -- my linked bank account. I would prefer to have the money invested in my VG taxable account. Is this possible? 5. Not only in my taxable a...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

Born 11/23/1945. Questions... [list=1] [*]I MUST take RMDs starting 2017, right? That is the year AFTER I turn 70.5. (70 in late 2015 so 70.5 in 2016.) [*]Is it better to start in 2016 so as not to "double dip" in 2017, pushing me up a tax bracket and/or increasing taxes on SS? If I DON'T...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

Born 11/23/1945. Questions... [list=1] [*]I MUST take RMDs starting 2017, right? That is the year AFTER I turn 70.5. (70 in late 2015 so 70.5 in 2016.) [*]Is it better to start in 2016 so as not to "double dip" in 2017, pushing me up a tax bracket and/or increasing taxes on SS? If I DON'T...
by bertilak
Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

Yes all and Thanks!

Since I am not yet 69.5 I think not all options are available to me yet. I am surprised it get me get as far as I did. I will revisit in a few months.
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 5:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

That would seem to imply it can't be automated, but if you are set up to automate it then there is a mystery. I really do need to call VG! When I stated that Vanguard could direct my RMD to the taxable fund of my choice I was only talking about Vanguard funds within my related accounts. You had use...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

Bertilak - I set up automated RMDs last year and was able to specify fed and state tax withholding rates and a fund for the after-tax balance. I didn't need to buy or sell or exchange or call anyone. Of course I cannot get to the enrollment part now, only edit my own setup, so I can't describe how ...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?

Try this: Log in. My Accounts-->Account Maintenance-->Holding Level Dividend and Capital Gains Election-->Change Elections-->(under Dividends, select "Transfer to a Bank Account") I did not complete the process (for obvious reasons), but that might work. Good luck! Thanks. I see the optio...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When/how to invest monthly savings into taxable?
Replies: 32
Views: 2922

Re: Some RMD Questions

BL, Thanks. I was really asking about their automated RMD service -- looking to simplify my financial life, eliminate need to plan or think about RMDs. Perhaps I could look at the automated service as a fall-back safety. If I screw up VG will swoop in and save me! This depends on VG's automated proc...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Some RMD Questions

I have an IRA at Vanguard and the RMD is directed to the taxable fund of my choice. It is set up as part of their automatic RMD service. Thanks. Poking around VG's RMD pages I found the following. Vanguard’s required minimum distribution (RMD) service allows you to distribute assets outside of Vang...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Preparing for RMDs

... given that you will be paying 28% in the future, my first thought is do 2 or 3 years of conversion up to the top of the 28% bracket. The money is going to get taxed there any way so might as well do it now and have the money end up in a ROTH instead of a taxable account That is an excellent poi...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Preparing for RMDs
Replies: 66
Views: 5169

Some RMD Questions

Born 11/23/1945. Questions... ⋅ I MUST take RMDs starting 2017, right? That is the year AFTER I turn 70.5. (70 in late 2015 so 70.5 in 2016.) ⋅ Is it better to start in 2016 so as not to "double dip" in 2017, pushing me up a tax bracket and/or increasing taxes on SS? If...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Some RMD Questions
Replies: 28
Views: 1565

Re: Separating 5-10 yr investments from retirement portolio

Do you separate your portfolio for retirement and intermediate term investing? I want to save approximately $ 200,000 in 10 years for an upgrade in house and $ 30,000 for an upgrade in car in about 5 years. I have no debt right now and plan to not use debt in the future if I can help it. I keep my ...
by bertilak
Sat Jan 24, 2015 1:22 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Separating 5-10 yr investments from retirement portolio
Replies: 26
Views: 1625

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

Yes I did upgrade from 2012 version, and had no issues. Works as it did. I turned off all the new mobile features they put into it, as I didn't need that. Yeah, I backed out all the mobile features. I can't see what they actually do for me. Why would I want to check or update my finances when I am ...
by bertilak
Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 109
Views: 19254

Re: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?

I would point out that Mint.com is an Intuit product. Why can't Intuit merge the reliability of Mint with the detail and reporting power of Quicken? :annoyed As I understand it Mint is a product Intuit bought whole, their ownership is irrelevant. Big messy complicated things have more opportunities...
by bertilak
Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2015 for Windows - Any reviews?
Replies: 109
Views: 19254

Re: Opinions on my Allocation

There is a recent blog post by the "Oblivious Investor," a well respected guy who often posts here. His blog post addresses your question, at last prtially: http://www.obliviousinvestor.com/why-is-currency-risk-bad Oblivious Investor is known for being highly informative in few, clearly ex...
by bertilak
Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on my Allocation
Replies: 2
Views: 209

Re: Psychology vs. Fundamentals of investing

I have one problem with my wife. If I ever tell her I like a certain brand/flavor/type of food it is hard to get a different brand/flavor/type without getting some grief along with it. It's almost like she thinks I must have lied to her. If Blue Bell Rum Raisin ice cream is your favorite, it's not a...
by bertilak
Thu Jan 08, 2015 4:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Psychology vs. Fundamentals of investing
Replies: 61
Views: 4592
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