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Re: Home equity loan as an asset?

OP: I see what you're driving at. I'd come at it from a slightly different direction. Say you and wife (or either) are in mid-90's, retirement funds are below the "comfort level" but still a few years left in the account, and you need to move to assisted living, say. It might take a few mo...
by john94549
Fri Nov 21, 2014 5:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Home equity loan as an asset?
Replies: 9
Views: 638

Re: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?

Nearing, the hint is my ZIP code, 94549. It's CA. CA taxes capital gains as ordinary income.
by john94549
Fri Nov 21, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?
Replies: 44
Views: 2901

Re: Mail order gift basket

Harry & David.
by john94549
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mail order gift basket
Replies: 5
Views: 378

Re: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?

Just focusing on state income taxes, in many states, Social Security benefits are taxed not at all, or only in part. Accordingly, the tax bite of 401K withdrawals in retirement (as to state income tax) may well be less than the tax advantage when contributing. It's more pronounced in states with ext...
by john94549
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does investing in a 401k actually save any money?
Replies: 44
Views: 2901

Re: 18 and Need Help Starting [Classroom research assignment

To: OP, aurora and Magycian, you have been presented what might be called an "issue-spotting" hypothetical. The point of the drill is to get the student to identify ("spot") as many economic, lifestyle, and financial issues as possible which might arise over a lifetime. By giving...
by john94549
Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 18 and Need Help Starting [Classroom research assignment]
Replies: 67
Views: 4281

Re: What to calculate withdrawals on?

I would vote for the OP taking withdrawals from his IRA alone until his wife retires, then shift to withdrawals from the balance in both tax-deferred accounts. Consumption smoothing and all that.
by john94549
Tue Nov 18, 2014 7:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to calculate withdrawals on?
Replies: 11
Views: 916

Re: Work 401k

chiefmbh wrote: my boss, medical doctor, likely knows nothing about investing.


Not sure why you'd assume that. Anyway, after a few months, approach your boss with constructive alternatives. Such as low-ER index funds. Offer to do some legwork. On your own time.
by john94549
Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Work 401k
Replies: 11
Views: 1072

Re: How To Invest Your Emergency Fund?

I've crunched the numbers on just about all the alternatives mentioned thus far (at one time or another), and always came back to a convenient, garden-variety, savings account. Ours at Alliant CU yields 0.8%. We regard it more as a "ready cash" fund, where we can move dollars from savings ...
by john94549
Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How To Invest Your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 52
Views: 6006

Re: Insurance Company Protection

Isn't there some sort of consumer protection law regarding this? States can require admitted insurers to belong to "protection associations" (aka "guaranty associations/funds"). The insurers contribute to a fund to "protect" consumers in the event one of the fund membe...
by john94549
Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insurance Company Protection
Replies: 14
Views: 1026

Re: Best way to get money on the sideline into action

I faced a similar situation several months back (albeit with a smaller amount). I just plopped it all in my VBIAX.
by john94549
Mon Nov 17, 2014 2:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to get money on the sideline into action
Replies: 8
Views: 791

Re: 401K catch-up if >70.5

Thanks, tfb.
by john94549
Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401K catch-up if >70.5
Replies: 5
Views: 366

401K catch-up if >70.5

I have searched the Wiki and the relevant IRS.gov pages, and can find no definite answer. Query: if one is 70.5 years of age and still employed, and a 401K participant, can the employee still make catch-up contributions to one's 401K? At the risk of a double negative, I can't find anything that says...
by john94549
Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401K catch-up if >70.5
Replies: 5
Views: 366

Re: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!

One of the larger pains in life is moving. Give your landlord grief now, don't expect him or her to renew the lease. Your preference for "hassle-free" will no doubt be rewarded down the road.
by john94549
Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Landlord wants us to sign an entirely new contract!
Replies: 51
Views: 5792

Re: Why own International at all?

ruralavalon wrote:"Smudgeon"?



Merely a neologism, accurately reflecting the smudge made this year by VTIAX on our portfolios.
by john94549
Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own International at all?
Replies: 45
Views: 3959

Re: Why own International at all?

15 - 20% here. Unashamedly admit to home country bias. My wife has about the same in her rollover IRA, but zero international in her 401K (poor options with high ERs).
by john94549
Fri Nov 14, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why own International at all?
Replies: 45
Views: 3959

Re: Dollar Cost Averaging For The Long Term

Having been investing since the paleolithic era, not necessarily in just the S+P, we doddering oldsters are, "wheeze", just fine.
by john94549
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dollar Cost Averaging For The Long Term
Replies: 6
Views: 857

Re: Shopping for a built-in oven

We (actually, my wife) re-modeled the kitchen and had "Dacor" oven with microwave/convection above. Big enough for her huge Thanksgiving turkeys and the "convection" microwave acts as a second oven. Not cheap, mind you.
by john94549
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Shopping for a built-in oven
Replies: 4
Views: 329

Re: Why Not 100% Treasuries if your Risk is on the Equity Si

On the "5-yr CD" versus "5-yr Treasury" issue, assuming you intend to ladder (and not break), you might consider the taxable equivalent yield of the Treasury. While the Treasury interest is state and local tax-exempt, that benefit varies based on geography and your personal state...
by john94549
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Not 100% Treasuries if your Risk is on the Equity Side?
Replies: 40
Views: 3578

Re: Will the baby boomer selling effect come to fruition?

As I've noted in other threads on this issue, a preliminary question is: "how many boomers plan to sell any equities in retirement; and, as to those who do, how much?" Until you have the answer, how can you determine whether there will be a "selling effect" at all, much less its ...
by john94549
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will the baby boomer selling effect come to fruition?
Replies: 14
Views: 1987

Re: Transition from Saving to Spending

One topic for discussion might be: "Just Because You Can Doesn't Mean You Must". I retired in November, 2006, age 59 1/2. I thought, "whoopee, now I can withdraw." So I did, all of $38,000, from a no EWP for partial withdrawals IRA CD. Paid the taxes, plopped the money in our sav...
by john94549
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Transition from Saving to Spending
Replies: 37
Views: 3869

Re: Local bank without any checking account fees?

You might consider Alliant Credit Union (easy to join). You can open a regular savings account (earns 0.8%) and a checking account. No charge for the first order of checks, no minimum balance, no per-check charge, no hidden fees*, no gimmicks. You can transfer money from savings to checking on-line ...
by john94549
Wed Nov 12, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Local bank without any checking account fees?
Replies: 31
Views: 2210

Re: EE savings bonds for retirement

It is conceivable that $10,000 invested today in a EE might be "uncompetitive" in 20 years (e.g., you invest the $10,000 in a 5-yr CD and, by the end of 20 years, the rolled CD produces a "taxable equivalent yield" -- adjusting for deferral and state/local exemption -- in excess ...
by john94549
Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE savings bonds for retirement
Replies: 31
Views: 2120

Re: Assisted Living

I see you're in CA. Not sure if near SF, but you might want to check out The Sequoias. Favorable article recently in the New York Times.
by john94549
Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assisted Living
Replies: 24
Views: 1932

Re: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cas

For someone in retirement who keeps the bond portion in a total bond fund, but purchases a 5 year CD or 5 year TIPs bond every year to keep a 5 years ladder, what would the strategy be? Continue holding the total bond fund no matter what and next year this time, like any subsequent year, cash a por...
by john94549
Tue Nov 11, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cash?
Replies: 54
Views: 6680

Re: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cas

As others have noted, cash needs to "work". Transitioning from a bond fund to CDs (in whole or in part) is not as simple as "sell one, buy the other".
by john94549
Mon Nov 10, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cash?
Replies: 54
Views: 6680

Re: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area

Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems these days IBonds are designed, and priced, to give back, in future dollars, your investment in today's dollars. No real gain, no real loss. That said, seems like a better deal for folks with larger-than-average state and local income taxes, since the yield is u...
by john94549
Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area
Replies: 30
Views: 2704

Re: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cas

Christopher Wool summed it up: https://images.search.yahoo.com/images/view;_ylt=AwrTcXWGV2FUWuIAoNGJzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTIzZmY2cWtxBHNlYwNzcgRzbGsDaW1nBG9pZANiODI2MWQ3MTA5OTBkMmUyZTMyZTI2MzRlZTI2ZWFiZQRncG9zAzc3BGl0A2Jpbmc-?back=https%3A%2F%2Fimages.search.yahoo.com%2Fsearch%2Fimages%3Fp%3Dchristopher%2B...
by john94549
Mon Nov 10, 2014 7:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For the next year or so, why shouldn't we be in all-cash?
Replies: 54
Views: 6680

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar. 86% of rental cost

madbrain wrote:
I don't know if the technology exists for "the back of the transponder shows the balance left on your transponder account".


Think a BART ticket.
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 6977

Re: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar. 86% of rental cost

Imaginary conversation at car rental counter, Anywhere, USA: Rental Agent: "Thank you for choosing (fill-in-the-blank). Our area has toll roads, marked on this free map. We are providing you with a transponder, pre-loaded with $100 for tolls, should you drive on these toll roads. Place the tran...
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1276% toll admin fee from Dollar.
Replies: 89
Views: 6977

Re: USAA Cashback Rewards+ AMEX?

I have a USAA credit card, but I am not sure it is the one to which you refer. It does indicate it is a "cash rewards" card, but I see no reference to "AMEX", for example. I obtain gas cash discounts of 5% at the local gas station and 2% cash/check discounts at the local grocery....
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 4:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: USAA Cashback Rewards+ AMEX?
Replies: 7
Views: 948

Re: How often do you change your car's oil?

I drive my 1994 Buick about 1000 miles/yr. It just passed smog, so I'm good to go for another two years. Oil change? Let me check. The little sticker says I was due 2 years ago, or (based on mileage) 3000 miles from the last change, which would be next year? It gets confusing. Last time I took it to...
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you change your car's oil?
Replies: 168
Views: 10912

Re: good time for a russian vacation package?

I suspect the future of Kazantip remains in doubt.
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: good time for a russian vacation package?
Replies: 6
Views: 838

Re: Total BOND Funds/CDs or TIP bond ladder?

I am a huge fan of laddering, as you know. Periodicity is your friend. Laddering is to fixed-income as DCA is to equity investing. Stuff goes up, stuff goes down. Trying to time the market in fixed-income is, well, difficult. Take what the market gives you, ladder, then roll. Applies to just about ...
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:44 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total BOND Funds/CDs or TIP bond ladder?
Replies: 10
Views: 1107

Re: Total BOND Funds/CDs or TIP bond ladder?

I am a huge fan of laddering, as you know. Periodicity is your friend. Laddering is to fixed-income as DCA is to equity investing. Stuff goes up, stuff goes down. Trying to time the market in fixed-income is, well, difficult. Ask Bill Gross. Take what the market gives you, ladder, then roll.* Applie...
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total BOND Funds/CDs or TIP bond ladder?
Replies: 10
Views: 1107

Re: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area

Further to Mel's point, you might do better in a one-year CD than with the IBond, after the 3-month interest penalty in the IBond, but I doubt most folks buy IBonds for such short horizons. When one does the math, a delta of 20 basis points on a $25K buy is, what, $50 at the end of year one?
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 1:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area
Replies: 30
Views: 2704

Re: The Sell in May and go away myth, why does it persist

I suspect it goes back to the seasonal migration of market makers from Manhattan to the Hamptons. Remember the good old days, before computers? Seasoned veteran traders would literally leave their desks, move to the Hamptons for the Summer, and delegate trading to the "youngsters". Said yo...
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Sell in May and go away myth, why does it persist
Replies: 15
Views: 2181

Re: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area

As a regimented, year-in year-out, never fail, always buy the max, strategy, IBonds "generally" perform as advertised. They "sort of" keep up with inflation, after adjustments for state and local tax exemption, and tax deferral. Close enough for government work, as we used to say...
by john94549
Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do IBonds make sense living in a high inflation area
Replies: 30
Views: 2704

Re: Are you buying I bonds in 2014? And if so, for what role

PJW, for quite a few years, I have compared IBonds with my other fixed-income options. Five-year CDs usually trumped. As they do now. http://www.ibonds.info/I-Bond-Rates/I-Bond-Composite-Rate.aspx Ignoring purchase limitations, the widest disparity I can recall was back in May, 2010, with the compos...
by john94549
Sat Nov 08, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are you buying I bonds in 2014? And if so, for what role?
Replies: 46
Views: 5442

Re: Draw down taxable saving first?

I can't speak for others, but I paid tax hand-over-fist to amass an after-tax cash stash before I retired. I figured I could afford it then. Might I say that beginning retirement with a goodly sum in after-tax was comforting.
by john94549
Fri Nov 07, 2014 2:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Draw down taxable saving first?
Replies: 43
Views: 3701

Re: How much to save for retirement?

I have always used "today's dollars". Example: If, in "today's dollars", I would need $60,000/yr for "X" years to supplement Social Security, pension, and "other" income (rents. royalties, interest, dividends and the like), then I multiply $60K times "X&q...
by john94549
Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much to save for retirement?
Replies: 9
Views: 2580

Re: How do you automatically rebalance?

ruralavalon wrote:You really don't need that pad of paper.


I used to be able to do it in my head. But, then, I'm 67 now.
by john94549
Thu Nov 06, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you automatically rebalance?
Replies: 34
Views: 2295

Re: letting profits run or sell...

I took 9.1645 shares off the table today in VHT. In my trading SEP-IRA "fun money" account. Not quite at the tippy-top, but close. Still letting 100 shares run. VHT has had a nice run this year, +24%. Maybe too nice?
by john94549
Thu Nov 06, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: letting profits run or sell...
Replies: 34
Views: 2574

Re: CD rate change schedule

Just a thought. If you check Ken Tumin's blog quite often, you will catch those "hot money" deals which might appear, then, poof, disappear.
by john94549
Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CD rate change schedule
Replies: 10
Views: 2532

Re: How do you automatically rebalance?

Once a year, I whip out the yellow legal pad and a four-banger calculator Radio Shack gave me as "gift-with-purchase" some years back. For the wife's 401K, I press a handy-dandy button on the plan admin's website that gets it back to 60/40.
by john94549
Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you automatically rebalance?
Replies: 34
Views: 2295

Re: Where would you invest 100k for a year?

You might luck into some one-year CD specials. Ken Tumin's blog is worth a look-see. http://www.depositaccounts.com/blog Scroll down for the CD update(s). From time-to-time, local credit unions and banks offer "hot money" specials. That said, anything over 1% for a one-year CD should be re...
by john94549
Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where would you invest 100k for a year?
Replies: 17
Views: 1918

Re: BND or a CD

I found 167 definitions for the acronym "LMP". The funniest was "Lemon Meringue Pie". I'm sure you folks mean something else. Ahah, see it above (liability matching portfolio). The pie is funny, though. Substitute wherever appearing, as it were. Example: "I find it tedious i...
by john94549
Tue Nov 04, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BND or a CD
Replies: 119
Views: 9545

Re: Bond funds as a savings vehicle?

Just out of curiosity, what are you making on that savings account?
by john94549
Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond funds as a savings vehicle?
Replies: 19
Views: 1728

Re: The millionth question about what to do with cash.

Allan, I can't speak to TIPS, but having both a CD ladder (as I suggested) and TBM (ditto) is what I'd look into. Fixed-income investing is not an "either/or" proposition. Everything has its own "pros" and "cons". Some folks like CD ladders for their predictability; you...
by john94549
Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The millionth question about what to do with cash.
Replies: 23
Views: 4085

Re: The millionth question about what to do with cash.

You might build a CD ladder, discussed http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=149993#p2245378 and might consider an IRA CD with no EWP for partial withdrawals for those over 59 1/2, discussed a few posts below the post linked. Having both the IRA CD ladder and the dedicated IRA CD w...
by john94549
Mon Nov 03, 2014 9:21 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: The millionth question about what to do with cash.
Replies: 23
Views: 4085
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