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Re: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"

Might I suggest a modest re-direction of this thread to its purpose: how might one plan to retire in a low-return environment. I tried to add my thoughts. Others might do likewise.
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"
Replies: 68
Views: 6284

Re: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"

My Mom (who lived to 98 1/2) always had not only a Plan "B", but a Plan "C". Plan "B" was tapping her CDs to pay for in-home care, so she wouldn't be forced into a nursing home. Plan "C" was selling her after-tax investments, again so she wouldn't be forced in...
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"
Replies: 68
Views: 6284

Re: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?

Hm, the second week of October? I so love extensions.
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Filed your 2014 Federal Taxes yet?
Replies: 50
Views: 2477

Re: what to expect back from title company after refinancing

Quite often, the amounts paid differ from the amounts owed, in which case you should get a final reconciliation and a check for any excess amounts paid.
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what to expect back from title company after refinancing?
Replies: 4
Views: 427

Re: What age did you become financially independent of paren

At age 22, when I raised my right hand. After a summer in Europe with my bride, it was off to NAVOCS in Newport, Rhode Island. Said bride and I now have two wonderful kids, and five grand-children.
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you become financially independent of parents?
Replies: 25
Views: 1380

Re: Effects of early retirement on Social Security benefits?

I had maybe 30 years (maybe) of max, my wife 35. Our FRA S/S benefits were but a few dollars apart. As noted by others, the marginal benefit after the second bend point should not dissuade one from ER. By all means, though, run the numbers. As always, the main boost is deferring to 70. While I haven...
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Effects of early retirement on Social Security benefits?
Replies: 8
Views: 761

Re: any "gotcha" tax headaches for trading in IRAs?

I have a SEP-IRA with Schwab that I use as a "fun-money" trading account. I can ignore all the noise, as whatever I withdraw is taxed at ordinary income rates.
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: any "gotcha" tax headaches for trading in IRAs?
Replies: 10
Views: 525

Re: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?

In terms of "super-safe", I've always felt IRA CDs are about as good as it gets for the fixed-income side of our asset allocation. Which is not to say that other fixed-income products should be shunned. Bond funds are totally great for re-balancing; IRA CDs are certainly not. Specialized b...
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?
Replies: 69
Views: 4816

Re: question about investing in oil, USO

USO doesn't track the price of oil, at least not over longer periods. Since USO began trading in April 2006, it has lost almost 75% of its value (to mid-January) while crude oil is down only 26% (according to Bloomberg Business Week of Jan. 26, 2015). That is hardly "tracking the price of oil....
by john94549
Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: question about investing in oil, USO
Replies: 11
Views: 509

Re: A Gift - tax consequences

Illustrates major confusion between "reporting" (i.e., filing a return) and paying a tax. Even those required to file a return are seldom required to pay tax, unless we're talking mid-seven figures.
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A Gift - tax consequences
Replies: 16
Views: 938

Re: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)

It's always impossible to tell, but the odds are a consumer debt is less attractive than a home mortgage or a HELOC. I'd pay it off and go for a long walk. This is not a huge issue.
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Prepay car loan (1.75%)
Replies: 29
Views: 1374

Re: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"

My wife and I are 67, pushing 68, and I am retired. My wife is contemplating retiring this year or next. Accordingly, we are indeed retiring in a low-return environment. We somewhat planned for this eventuality by plopping enough for the first 15 years in FDIC- or NCUA-insured IRA CDs. We plan to ta...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"
Replies: 68
Views: 6284

Re: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY

Mythical transaction to a brokerage: "I want to short SPY". Response" "You can't." Query: "Why not"? Response: "You don't have a margin account". Query: "How do I get one"? Response: "You can't, you have a SEP-IRA". Query: "So, ho...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Planet Money" is shorting SPY
Replies: 25
Views: 2480

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

At 63 and owning a small mom and pop business the plan is to work until 70 and maybe longer if I feel like it.I am currently attempting to adjust to 30/70 and keep that going forward until retirement.At that point I would like to have whatever pct in risk free is necessary to fund my retirement and...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 74
Views: 3230

Re: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make

When applying for a home loan, for example, I suppose such information might be fair game. In a social environment, frankly, I can't recall ever being asked. I do have a very rude "none of your business" look I could employ. It's right up there with the expression I use when folks ask &quo...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make?
Replies: 80
Views: 6393

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

My Mom was in a nursing home for a protracted period back in 2010, and I moved back to the family abode so I could be close. I had both lunch and dinner with her each day, in the communal dining room across from her room. By definition, a nursing home is different from assisted living (the former ha...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Assisted Living Facilities... Weird 'Atmosphere...'
Replies: 34
Views: 3778

Re: Large Inheritance for Kids -- Asset Allocation?

This is a complicated question, more than one might think. As trustee for one's offspring, a parent has a fiduciary duty not just to maximize, but to preserve. How horrible would a parent feel if an overly-aggressive asset allocation resulted in a major hit to the inheritance? Would the parent feel ...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Large Inheritance for Kids -- Asset Allocation?
Replies: 34
Views: 2151

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

I edited my post to anticipate your question.
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 74
Views: 3230

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

jfn111, you need to add up all sources of income you expect in retirement, then subtract from the total the expenses you expect. For example, it is possible that a two-earner couple might well generate $40,000 (or thereabouts) in Social Security income, which, when coupled with a $40,000 pension, wo...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 74
Views: 3230

Re: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with

Since we plan to harvest our IRA CDs for the initial 15 years or so, I suspect our AA will reflect a larger stock allocation going forward. Some refer to it as a "reverse glide path". We're 67, pushing 68, and will probably start taking distributions next year, if my wife (finally) decides...
by john94549
Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The lowest stock allocation you plan to stay with
Replies: 74
Views: 3230

Re: What to do with spare cash?

If you don't want to commit to a CD, then plop it in a high-yield savings account. You can get 1% or thereabouts without much effort. Actually (as our grand-daughter would say), the "delta" between a high-yield savings account and a five-year CD these days is 100 - 125 basis points. Not sh...
by john94549
Thu Jan 29, 2015 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with spare cash?
Replies: 22
Views: 1970

Re: GNMA Fund?

I inherited such a fund (as successor trustee) in a taxable account. Just when I think it's about to tank, it's the energizer bunny. FUSGX. Why my Mom and Dad ever bought this fund is lost to me, but they did, and plopped it in the trust. Over years, and years, and years, well, you get the idea. Tho...
by john94549
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: GNMA Fund?
Replies: 14
Views: 825

Re: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?

The disconnect and the "free lunch" noted by Kevin make shopping for CDs ever so much fun. I've always wondered how many sub-prime auto loans I've helped finance. I suspect lotsa cars out there today tooling around with my money, as it were. So long as I'm FDIC- or NCUA-insured, I say, &qu...
by john94549
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?
Replies: 69
Views: 4816

Re: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds

Folks, take a deep breath. Just because you buy a EE this year doesn't mean you have to buy one next year. This year, without doubt, those EE's offer a guaranteed yield (if held for 20) well beyond anything else out there. That said, should interest rates spike, and the rate on 5-yr CDs moves to 4%,...
by john94549
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:14 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Just purchased 2015 maximum EE Series Bonds
Replies: 67
Views: 3993

Re: Glide Path questions

At your age, I would seriously explore diverting a substantial chunk to CDs, IRA or otherwise. While dull-and-boring, a CD ladder offers the stability and predictability which neither stock nor bond funds can offer. My wife and I started our ladder some years ago, and it will now serve as our primar...
by john94549
Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Glide Path questions
Replies: 3
Views: 656

Re: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?

I stopped worrying about this question a long time ago once I setup a 5 yr CD ladder. Now I just buy on schedule as they roll over every January ( just bought the 2.25% in fact ). Your ladder, as they say, is optimal. I've long advocated the 5-yr CD as the preferred product for a CD ladder. Most fi...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?
Replies: 69
Views: 4816

Re: Advice on current plan and purchasing of second home

Unclear, at least to me, what your question is regarding the purchase of a second home. Would it be as a rental, a get-away (a cabin in the Sierras), or something else? If the question is "investment property" versus other, more traditional, investment vehicles, that's a whole different is...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on current plan and purchasing of second home
Replies: 7
Views: 863

Re: VG Prime Money Market Fund

OP, Vanguard has nothing to compare with a garden-variety, high-yield, FDIC- or NCUA-insured savings account. As far as keeping track, Alliant Credit Union (easy to join) sends you paper statements once a month (for a fee of $1/mo), or you can go paperless (free), and check your balance on-line. All...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VG Prime Money Market Fund
Replies: 21
Views: 2040

Re: Newer washing machine freaks out dog

Poster "barnaclebob" still made me feel like a hero, as I solved a complicated "resonant frequency" vibration issue with a wedged paper book. How great is that!
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newer washing machine freaks out dog
Replies: 34
Views: 2184

Re: Perspectives on house with a pool

Here in California ("pool country, as it were") you'll get mixed reactions. Pools are expensive, and so is the insurance (liability coverage) that goes along with pools. We demurred, and bought into the local swim club. Our kids and grand-children have enjoyed our swim club ever so much, a...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Perspectives on house with a pool
Replies: 21
Views: 1515

Re: Payoff Mortgage with investments in taxable accounts

This topic comes up quite often. Some argue for paying off a mortgage, no matter the interest rate, for various reasons, some valid, some (perhaps) not. From my perspective, a 3% mortgage with 14 years to run is a treasure. Ours is 3.4% with 28 years to run, and we're 67 (pushing 68) and I'm quite r...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payoff Mortgage with investments in taxable accounts
Replies: 22
Views: 1643

Re: Refinance with Third Federal? 3/1 ARM, 2.34%, $295 costs

Mind you, I had to read this thread twice. OP, this is golden. My career colleagues in the Navy always groused about lousy financing options, given their frequent moves. Guess the options have improved.
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance with Third Federal? 3/1 ARM, 2.34%, $295 costs
Replies: 8
Views: 995

Re: Anticipating the pain [of one day portfolio drop]

Raybo wrote:
It is like an automobile. Should I worry about having to replace it in 10 years? I know I will have to.


As one with a 1994 Buick, I might take umbrage.
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anticipating the pain [of one day portfolio drop]
Replies: 13
Views: 1716

Re: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?

I've followed CD rates for some time, and I suspect there might be some disconnect between CD rates and interest rates overall. For example, from time-to-time, "hot deals" on CDs appear with no rational relation to bond rates, the prime rate, or anything else. An institution might be enter...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone know when CD rates will increase?
Replies: 69
Views: 4816

Re: Investing strategies for Cash?

Discussed at length on this board is a CD ladder, the optimum probably being a five-year ladder of 5-yr CDs. Buy one this year, one next year, and so on, until the ladder is filled. Monies not committed this year might be plopped in a bond fund, or other vehicle of choice. It takes a bit of patience...
by john94549
Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing strategies for Cash?
Replies: 3
Views: 773

Re: Are any US-only investors having 2nd thoughts?

International and emerging lagged last year, of that there was little doubt. Domestic did quite well, of that there was little doubt. Did committed Bogleheads do anything but "stay the course", again, of that there was little doubt. Set your sails, have an anchor-to-windward*, and "do...
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are any US-only investors having 2nd thoughts?
Replies: 44
Views: 4414

Re: Newer washing machine freaks out dog

Our new top-loader vibrated like mad. I solved the problem by wedging a paperback book between the washer and the dryer, at the base. End of vibration. Odd solution, but it worked.
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Newer washing machine freaks out dog
Replies: 34
Views: 2184

Re: Where to hold $ for less than 1 year

There's no "silver bullet" for short-term, FDIC- or NCUA-insured deposits these days. One percent (plus or minus) is about as good as it gets.
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to hold $ for less than 1 year
Replies: 4
Views: 706

Re: [Clements - 4 strategies for those close to retirement]

HIinvestor, as I noted above, I share your concerns about reverse mortgages. Too often, they "unlock" too little, too late, and at too great a cost. My major concern is that folks are bombarded with all the TV ads, suggesting that reverse mortgages are some sort of retirement planning vehi...
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Clements - 4 strategies for those close to retirement]
Replies: 25
Views: 3279

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

My Mom always had "just a bit" more than she thought she'd owe that she paid in estimated taxes. Finally, I suggested she begin to "draw down" on the accumulated balance. Her last three years, she paid zero estimated tax. When we filed her decedent tax return, there was still $66...
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 4884

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

If there's a Wells Fargo branch near you with MSG, determine if a garden-variety savings account with ATM linkage would qualify for MSG. That's all I have with Wells, and they said they would be happy to MSG transfers for me. There's no monthly service charge if you maintain the minimum balance (I s...
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 32
Views: 2508

Re: soundproofing walls

You mentioned "condo", so might I assume there's some sort of condo/homeowners' association? You might want to check with them, and your CC&Rs, as to what you can, and cannot, do, before you get started.
by john94549
Tue Jan 27, 2015 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: soundproofing walls
Replies: 13
Views: 1575

Re: Refund from the IRS? Why?

Apply any overage to the next year.
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refund from the IRS? Why?
Replies: 51
Views: 4884

Re: Finding a good realtor

When my Mom died, I searched for a "good" realtor to market her house, and basically searched "realtor.com" for the company with the most listings in the area. After finding the realtor with the most listings, I then found the realtor with the next-most, and so on, narrowing it t...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding a good realtor
Replies: 12
Views: 720

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

reneeh63, I would echo others' comments. Bite the bullet, open an account (I recommend Wells Fargo), keep it open for the requisite period, then get your MSG. Liabilities aside, I can understand how financial institutions don't want to deal with "walk-ins" when it comes to MSGs. There's ju...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 32
Views: 2508

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

I have not paid off my mortgage early and I have no regrets. For me, it is better financially to invest the monies that I would have used to pay off a 3.25% loan. However, I do congratulate those that did pay off their mortgage early and am very glad that it makes you feel more secure/happy. It is ...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37359

Re: negotiating vacation days

Everything is negotiable, and not just for folks changing jobs. My wife is contemplating retirement, and everyone in her company knows this. That said, they truly appear to value her service, and expertise, and would prefer she not (retire). Accordingly, she negotiated a reduced workload to stay on,...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: negotiating vacation days
Replies: 37
Views: 2674

Re: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?

The decision as to whether or not to pay off a mortgage is complex, and not always just an issue of what one might earn elsewhere (or not). For some, a very low interest fixed-rate mortgage with many years to go (such as we have, 3.4%, roughly 28 years to run) is part of our estate plan. We are 67, ...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone regret paying off mortgage early?
Replies: 306
Views: 37359

Re: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets

Not sure I fit within any of the "boxes", but I did recently post on my surprise when my Mom's "annuity" turned out to have what was, in effect, a death benefit. It certainly wasn't intuitively obvious from the statements, and I found out only when I called the insurance company ...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2270

Re: Old Age Penny Pinchers

The article seemed a not-so-subtle pitch for Munnell's preferred strategy, the reverse mortgage. To its credit, the WSJ does note her investment bias in such products. The thrust of the article was "if you do such and thus", you won't need to pinch pennies. Nary a word about the expense, p...
by john94549
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Clements - 4 strategies for those close to retirement]
Replies: 25
Views: 3279
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