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Re: HELOC + Margin = $200k to play with

Mortgage the farm, mortgage the house, mortgage or margin the other assets, then buy leveraged ETFs. UPRO comes to mind. Sounds like fun. Unless we're at a market top. If so, oops.
by john94549
Thu Aug 21, 2014 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC + Margin = $200k to play with
Replies: 8
Views: 529

Re: When to put money into bond fund rather than home princi

This comes up periodically, given folks (such as OP) with reasonably-cheap mortgages these days. My option was that 3.3% 10-yr CD. Two observations: (a) the mortgage is the mortgage; (b) investments are variable. If you find something even close to balancing the mortgage, it's a procrastinator's dre...
by john94549
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to put money into bond fund rather than home principal
Replies: 13
Views: 1242

Re: Power of Attorney

My Mom's "springing" POA in the Trust turned out to be a useless joke. Required two physicians (one of which being her purported "personal physician") to certify her incapable of handling her affairs. The closest she had to a "personal physician" was the gent who did he...
by john94549
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Power of Attorney
Replies: 27
Views: 1543

Re: Juice up your cash returns (!) [What do you consider cas

Last I checked, my IRA CD ladder had an expense ratio of zero.
by john94549
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Juice up your cash returns (!) [What do you consider cash?]
Replies: 3
Views: 477

Re: Air conditioning

For those with A/C, and crawl-spaces, might I suggest a periodic inspection of ducting. History: Our house, typical late 70's Northern California, has a crawl space through which all HVAC ducts are routed. The ducts themselves are connected by (you guessed it) duct tape. Which, after 35 years or so,...
by john94549
Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air conditioning
Replies: 27
Views: 1500

Re: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?

No. She died last year. In Kansas.

Ironically enough, even though not (legally) responsible to pay her end-of-life bills, I did.
by john94549
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?
Replies: 54
Views: 2993

Re: Credit Union(s) Lowering rate on existing certificate (C

By the way, when Fort Knox FCU first announced its EWP change some time back, Ken Tumin's blog literally exploded (http://www.depositaccounts.com). We had some interesting (and somewhat esoteric) debates over "fine print", changes which might pass muster, and those which might not. My posi...
by john94549
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Union(s) Lowering rate on existing certificate (CD)
Replies: 10
Views: 1326

Re: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?

This battle has been waged at Bogleheads for quite some time. Perhaps since folks began posting. Personally, I'm torn. A deferred annuity makes some sense, if from a solid company. Buy it when 70 or so, have it kick in at 85 (if you're still alive), it's just a form of longevity insurance, perhaps m...
by john94549
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why aren't annuities better than investment drawdowns?
Replies: 46
Views: 2688

Re: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits

By the way, kudos to sscritic for revealing the legislative history surrounding the claim by one spouse at 62 => spousal claim by the other at 66 => other spouse defers to 70. Truly amazing operation of both the laws of unintended consequences and inertia.
by john94549
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits
Replies: 63
Views: 3587

Re: How to finance major home improvements

Ideally, it is best to save for maintenance and repairs, and have the cash in the proverbial "lock box." For true "improvements" (i.e., which add value to the home), debt may make sense. That said, if the choice is between fixing a leaky roof with debt (assuming inadequate cash f...
by john94549
Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to finance major home improvements
Replies: 24
Views: 1368

Re: Tract Home - Things to Watch During Construction

No matter where you live, I suspect the biggest aggravation is water infiltration. Whether it be through the roof, the flashing, the perimeter, the windows, or the basement. I'd watch those things. Ironically enough, in our last re-roofing, the nailing gun proved to be the source of a major leak in ...
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tract Home - Things to Watch During Construction
Replies: 55
Views: 2719

Re: Reasonable interest rate for 10 year loan

aprilcpa wrote:I am going to sell an interest in an inherited business and the purchaser wants to pay installments over 10 years. What would you consider a fair interest rate to charge? The purchaser will be the individual, not the company so he would be personally liable for the loan.


Prime plus 3.
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reasonable interest rate for 10 year loan
Replies: 2
Views: 247

Re: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits

What's the point of waiting until 70 to collect a larger benefit when you may not live that late. I'd rather take my own money back from the government sooner rather than later... Valid point. It's just a risk/benefit analysis. Folks who think they're likely to keel over sooner rather than later ta...
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits
Replies: 63
Views: 3587

Re: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits

There's no option for married couples doing 62 => spousal at FRA => defer to 70.
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Age for Collecting Social Security Benefits
Replies: 63
Views: 3587

Re: Why would anyone own a treasury bond fund?

Before I talked her out of it (mind you, it wasn't easy) my Mom kept rolling over her 6-mo Treasury, like clockwork. She thought it patriotic. Seriously.

Mind you, she was up in age (90's) and remembered War Bonds. I suspect those War Bonds paid better interest.
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why would anyone own a treasury bond fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 1684

Re: What's happening with my Stable Value fund?

As noted in other threads, a stable value fund is generally a worthy component of a 401K, if available. That said, if the yield falls below that of a garden-variety savings account (let's say 1%), then it's an issue. Most 401Ks don't offer CDs or savings accounts as alternatives to stable value fund...
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's happening with my Stable Value fund?
Replies: 16
Views: 1793

Re: How Much Did You Lose Today?

Surprised this thread had legs. Looking back, would not all agree with my premise? Surprise, surprise, a little over a month and a half later, it was all just noise. Folks who kept plunking down their periodic 401K contribs are doing just fine.
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Much Did You Lose Today?
Replies: 166
Views: 14115

Re: Credit Union(s) Lowering rate on existing certificate (C

I suspect financial institutions will push the "fine print" envelope until it hurts them in the pocketbook. Then, they'll stop the shenanigans. Ahem, anybody buy a CD lately from Fort Knox FCU? Sort of an inside joke, as they were the first to unilaterally change the EWP during the term of...
by john94549
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:39 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Credit Union(s) Lowering rate on existing certificate (CD)
Replies: 10
Views: 1326

Re: Shiller on Lofty Market Elevations

Is there any asset Shiller thinks is "not" over-valued? I recall reading some time back he was thinking of setting up a hedge fund to enable folks to "short" housing. Wonder how that turned out.
by john94549
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shiller on Lofty Market Elevations
Replies: 55
Views: 4776

Re: Short term solution (emergency cash)

When just starting out, your biggest risk is cash flow (or lack of it) and resultant debt traps. Plan "A" is to build that emergency fund, and it is a worthy plan. But what is your Plan "B" should you face an unexpected expense before then? You might not be disabled, but you migh...
by john94549
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Short term solution (emergency cash)
Replies: 4
Views: 618

Re: Thoughts on USAA?

I thought USAA closed its "bank" to the public some time back. Folks who were "members" by dint of an open account could keep banking, but other than that, it reverted to traditional members only. At least that's the letter my Mom received. She was a "member" only throu...
by john94549
Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on USAA?
Replies: 24
Views: 1881

Re: Savings Percentage [rules of thumb]

This is a tough question, as it depends on age, family situation (kids/college), debt burden(s), etc. As with most things, I'd hazard a guess there are no rules of thumb. As an example, I suppose a dual-income professional family with one child (and a trust fund for the child's education) will be in...
by john94549
Mon Aug 18, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Percentage [rules of thumb]
Replies: 49
Views: 5167

Re: Alarm company wants me to waive rights

Sounds vaguely like a "waiver of subrogation", which (a) might be invalid in any event, or (b) if valid, might be frowned upon by your insurance company. I suspect other part(s) of your contract with the alarm folks waive your right to hold the company liable for certain types of damages. ...
by john94549
Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alarm company wants me to waive rights
Replies: 13
Views: 1101

Re: Foundation crack repair

Go with the cheapest. Mind you, this is a bit of water from a vertical separation in a garage wall. Thousands of folks would note worse leaks.
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Foundation crack repair
Replies: 8
Views: 983

Re: Poll: Cash Reserve for Investments

I guess you are asking an otherwise hostile (to market-timing) community how much they have to invest in which they do not believe. Moving right along, if you are asking the community of un-believers (at least partially, those of us Bogleheads who stray and have "fun-money" accounts for tr...
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll: Cash Reserve for Investments
Replies: 11
Views: 758

Re: When did you downsize?

ieee488, I didn't want to get too graphic, but I wonder how many folks understand that "modern" multi-family residences (read:condos) have conjoined bathrooms. Stated another way, your bathroom directly adjoins "their" bathroom. And you can hear each bodily function. Don't get me...
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 11:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you downsize?
Replies: 35
Views: 3236

Re: Ortho/Dental Forced Financing Dilema

Many dental professionals offer discounts for cash (mine did, 5%, for implants) or financing options.* It's not a huge corporate conspiracy, it's just business. You might find a better option by tapping a HELOC to pay up-front, get the discount, then pay off the HELOC as you can. Our HELOC rate is p...
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ortho/Dental Forced Financing Dilema
Replies: 5
Views: 775

Re: When did you downsize?

The thought of moving to a place with even the possibility of hearing (much less seeing) one's neighbors makes me shudder.
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you downsize?
Replies: 35
Views: 3236

Re: help with Moms free cash reserves

Not sure about "online", but many financial institutions and the like welcome trust accounts. You just need a Tax ID for the trust, a copy of the trust (showing your authority to act as trustee), and that's that.
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: help with Moms free cash reserves
Replies: 8
Views: 753

Re: Poll for 65+ Seniors

I have not voted although otherwise in the poll's "group." As we also own a rental property (which is most assuredly part of our "portfolio"), I doubt my vote would be meaningful.
by john94549
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Poll for 65+ Seniors
Replies: 51
Views: 5697

Re: Medical Alert System

Before she died, my Mom had something called Lifeline or LifeAlert through Carondelet in the greater metro Kansas City area. About $30/mo or thereabouts. I suspect they're all competitive. Good service entails calling next-of-kin when the button is pressed, even if the subscriber says "don't yo...
by john94549
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Alert System
Replies: 19
Views: 890

Re: USAA Changes effective 6 Aug 14

All these options make my head twirl. Explain to me, in very simple terms, why I should not just stick with USAA for insurance (and the occasional CD, which no longer exists), Vanguard for index funds, Ken Tumin's blog for the best CDs and savings, and my wife's 401K.
by john94549
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: USAA Changes effective 6 Aug 14
Replies: 28
Views: 3685

Re: Indirect grilling (now a total fan)

Peterjens, yes, we boil (low heat), but whether one considers Coors "cheap" is a matter of debate. A thirty-pack at Target (when in stock) runs around $15, but it's usually not in stock. For planning purposes, we always figure a buck a can. Moving right along, my wife was from Tomah (where...
by john94549
Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indirect grilling (now a total fan)
Replies: 13
Views: 1922

Indirect grilling (now a total fan)

Having just finished up with the latest batch of brats, may I say I am now a total fan of indirect on the Weber. In the past, I have always been disappointed with brats over the coals, even if moderated by the Weber top closure. They always seemed to split, get burned, you name it. Same with chicken...
by john94549
Thu Aug 14, 2014 9:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Indirect grilling (now a total fan)
Replies: 13
Views: 1922

Re: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD

Arthur, you got me thinking about that CD, which I'd seen over at Ken's blog, but hadn't thought much about. So, thank you! Not sure I'd buy it, but it got me thinking (see my other thread on our 3.4% mortgage). Thinking is what it's all about.
by john94549
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3.3% Vanguard 10 year CD
Replies: 90
Views: 8055

Re: Car Value/Income

I added the value of my wife's Mazda and my Buick. Still waaaay below 5%.
by john94549
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Value/Income
Replies: 22
Views: 1900

Re: tipping a house painter?

Monetary tips might get lost in the shuffle. We "tipped" a really great crew once with beer (one case for each worker, two cases for the foreman).
by john94549
Thu Aug 14, 2014 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: tipping a house painter?
Replies: 13
Views: 1306

Re: How important is my insurance agent?

My Mom had State Farm for years back in Kansas. Never had a problem. I have a State Farm agent here (in CA) for banking with StateFarmBank (CDs). Never a problem. She tried to cross-sell me (once), found out our insurance was with USAA, and said "oh, you folks never switch." But her office...
by john94549
Thu Aug 14, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How important is my insurance agent?
Replies: 37
Views: 2088

Re: Pay off that Mortgage?

Thanks to all for the responses thus far. I had always leaned toward just paying off the mortgage, but the emergence of that 3.3% 10-yr CD gave me pause. Since we itemize, and would still be below the limitation on deductions on Sch A (even with the CD interest), tax would probably be a wash for the...
by john94549
Thu Aug 14, 2014 5:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off that Mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 2504

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 surr...
by john94549
Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay off that Mortgage?
Replies: 18
Views: 2504

Re: Best websites to buy quality meat for grilling?

As my wife and I love authentic Wisconsin brats, we ordered online for a number of years from Usingers. Finally were able to find a place locally (in Alameda, California) with similar brats at a fraction of the cost. But Usinger brats are worthy. Boil in beer at low heat after thawed for fifteen mi...
by john94549
Tue Aug 12, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best websites to buy quality meat for grilling?
Replies: 22
Views: 2540

Better Luck on that Tri-Tip

Yes, friends and neighbors, all those suggestions (see my prior thread) paid off. A more-aggressive searing, a tad less on the time over in-direct grill, less-aggressive tenting, all paid off. As the wife noted, "yummy".
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better Luck on that Tri-Tip
Replies: 1
Views: 515

Re: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?

My wife and I did maui during her pregnancy, breaking up the flight in SF. fantastic trip and love Hawaii, but we want to go international. As others said, this is more a trip for my wife and me. Our son is not going to know or care where we go. We don't want to torture ourselves with the flight on...
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tropical vacation next winter with infant-where?
Replies: 40
Views: 2725

Re: Instead of a CD Ladder

It is easy to "have the best of both worlds". Buy a 5-yr CD this year (you should get around 2.3%). Buy another next year of roughly the same value, and so on. After five years, you will have your 5-yr CD, 5-yr ladder. Now, let's say you have just a whole pot-load of money kicking around, ...
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Instead of a CD Ladder
Replies: 26
Views: 4400

Re: Volvo Overseas Delivery - Any experience?

Last I checked, Volvo was purchased by Geely (China) some years ago, and cars being built in China. Another article about assembly in the Ukraine, parts made who-knows-where. Too funny.
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Volvo Overseas Delivery - Any experience?
Replies: 9
Views: 811

Re: Reminder: Check your 401K contribution rates

My wife is already maxed out at her catch-up. She wonders why, in heaven's name, she is contributing over 20%. I assure her she is helping the economy. Tee Hee.
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reminder: Check your 401K contribution rates
Replies: 27
Views: 3563

Re: Renting forever: financial suicide?

Here we go again. My wife and I bit the bullet and bought in Sunnyvale in 1973 (for $43K). Sold in 1978 and bought in Lafayette (in 1978) for $180. Add a few zeros. We've been up and down the "assumed" property value ladder so many times it wants to make your head swim. Bottom line: if you...
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting forever: financial suicide?
Replies: 90
Views: 9433

Re: Good place to park ~$500k for house remodel/teardown?

I'm not shocked at the amount, but am somewhat shocked that OP would risk the funds. Plop it in a savings account, pay the tax, relax.
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Good place to park ~$500k for house remodel/teardown?
Replies: 17
Views: 2423

Re: Treasuries vs CDs/Cash

I suspect you've already figured out that CDs and even garden-variety savings accounts best T-bills and notes across the board. Unless you have so much kicking around that insurance limits are an issue, it's an easy decision.
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasuries vs CDs/Cash
Replies: 13
Views: 1803

Re: What's an acceptable stable value fund rate?

Stable value funds, such as they are available, must be compared with other alternatives. For many, a stable value fund is as good as it gets (in terms of short-term, liquid, funds) when allocating in a 401K or equal. Many 401Ks (etc.) don't exactly give you the option of farming out your "cash...
by john94549
Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's an acceptable stable value fund rate?
Replies: 18
Views: 1360
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