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Re: The Roosevelts, PBS special

Loved the series. Always a fan of TR. As a child, growing up (referring to myself, in the 50's), he was always a model of energy, honesty, and direction. One could only wish today's ... I digress. As this thread is now marching surely towards lockdown, I can only weep at the slide.
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Roosevelts, PBS special
Replies: 76
Views: 5509

Re: When to throw out childhood toys? Encourage me please.

Others might enjoy. Don't just recycle. If one reads all the stories of folks with children who have literally nothing, it amazes me anybody would "not" call the Salvation Army, Goodwill, anybody (please) before throwing stuff in the recycle. Call local churches, outreach centers, I mean, ...
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to throw out childhood toys? Encourage me please.
Replies: 15
Views: 834

Re: All my eggs in one basket?

If concerned, diversify into FDIC/NCUA-insured fixed-income products. It's not new news. Or bond funds.

Diversify into real estate, as in a rental.

Try physical gold or silver (not recommended, but others might say it's a buying opportunity).

Diversify, diversify, diversify.
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All my eggs in one basket?
Replies: 22
Views: 9510

Re: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?

Ironically enough, one of the main drawbacks to a CD ladder (too much effort, too little time to manage) disappears when one retires. Trust me, once you retire, and a CD is approaching maturity, you will obsess over the best renewal rate, and will refresh Ken Tumin's blog hourly to see what you migh...
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?
Replies: 20
Views: 1363

Re: Best way to invest for a small child/baby?

Here's another idea. Plop the money into an investment of your choosing. You retain ownership, pay the taxes, etc. But you call each account "Jim's Fund", "Jane's Fund" etc. When you fill out the style box on opening an account, just call it out as such, then with your name and a...
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest for a small child/baby?
Replies: 4
Views: 406

Re: Best way to invest for a small child/baby?

We gifted each of our grand-children with a check to their parents, as trustees. They invested for the grand-children. You could research a "UGMA" account (at least that's what they used to be called), but why bother? Just ask the parents to plop it in "X" and call it "Uncle...
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best way to invest for a small child/baby?
Replies: 4
Views: 406

Re: How to add to my portfolio monthly without crazy fees

I can't imagine anyone would pay a front-load of over 10% each month. Get your account over to Vanguard.
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to add to my portfolio monthly without crazy fees
Replies: 35
Views: 2281

Re: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?

Poster "Dandy":

Nice to see another vote for both the CD ladder and Total Bond. I never thought it was an "either/or" proposition.
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?
Replies: 20
Views: 1363

Re: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?

Just get both, a ladder of 5-yr CDs, and total bond. Takes a bit of patience to build the ladder, but time flies when you're having fun. How much of each in your FI allocation is a matter of preference. If starting from scratch, you might try half and half, i.e., an equal amount in total bond and a ...
by john94549
Sat Sep 20, 2014 5:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total bond index or 5 yr CD?
Replies: 20
Views: 1363

Re: Home Insurance Policy Declaration Questions

I'd get a professional appraisal and see what the appraiser comes up with for a "per square foot" replacement cost. Our insurance company balked (at first) when I wanted our dwelling coverage increased to the appraisal replacement value. However, our lender required it, and the insurance c...
by john94549
Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Insurance Policy Declaration Questions
Replies: 11
Views: 859

Re: Need urgent help for 85 y.o. parents just moved to Vangu

OP, in response to your PM, I would agree with others to let your Uncle take a stab at this first.
by john94549
Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need urgent help for 85 y.o. parents just moved to Vanguard
Replies: 51
Views: 2754

Re: Do I need to send in estimated tax????

If it makes you feel better, my wife went round and round with her pension admin over withholding. Turns out there's a "threshold", the pension admin refused to withhold, and we needed to go the estimated tax route. Some pension folks are happy to withhold for you, some are not. For your j...
by john94549
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to send in estimated tax????
Replies: 31
Views: 1718

Re: Why Not Buy Vanguard ETFs Through Schwab?

I do have some minor issues with Schwab. For example, they sequester mutual fund dividends (look at SWPPX) while Vanguard pays out quarterly. Not sure if Schwab captures the sequester, but it would appear so*. While not a huge issue to the individual investor, sitting on quarterly dividends paid by ...
by john94549
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Not Buy Vanguard ETFs Through Schwab?
Replies: 18
Views: 1777

Yes, It's Dividend Time

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

Let me be the first to pre-empt the posts "The benchmark for my fund went up; why did my fund go down"?

Yes, friends and neighbors, it's that time once again. Don't freak out.
by john94549
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Why did my fund suddenly drop in value?]
Replies: 84
Views: 7148

Re: Tax Preparation Cost

When dealing with a modestly-complicated return, CPAs generally charge per "form", despite the difficulties thereby ensued. Stated another way, the "going rate" for a gift tax return might be $150, multiplied by two, for you and your spouse. This despite the fact that the effort ...
by john94549
Thu Sep 18, 2014 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Preparation Cost
Replies: 19
Views: 1030

Re: Why Not Buy Vanguard ETFs Through Schwab?

I have quite a few Vanguard ETF's in my Schwab SEP-IRA account. Could not be happier.
by john94549
Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Not Buy Vanguard ETFs Through Schwab?
Replies: 18
Views: 1777

Re: Proposed: 35% Maximum Bond Allocation, For Life

hoops777, if your FI throws off 2.3% guaranteed (think an IRA CD ladder), the answer is "forever". The kids get all the principal, you just harvest the interest. With the ten above 2.6 and the thirty over 3.3, well, you get my drift. Not hard to achieve a 2.3% SWR under these circumstances...
by john94549
Thu Sep 18, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Proposed: 35% Maximum Bond Allocation, For Life
Replies: 37
Views: 3669

Re: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?

A bit of history. My wife and I own a Condo in a professionally-managed resort in Maui. Most condos in the resort are rented through a management company. The management company has long-standing affiliations with travel agents. Connect the dots. Clients of the travel agents generally get better ser...
by john94549
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?
Replies: 36
Views: 1506

Re: Estimated SS COLA for 2015

As my wife and I are both beneficiaries (she per spousal, I on my own claim), we both promise not to spend it all at the casino. But, heck, $60/mo is better than a poke in the eye. My wife still does not understand the logic regarding "spousal benefits" for folks still working and piling u...
by john94549
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Estimated SS COLA for 2015
Replies: 11
Views: 1040

Re: Left tail portfolio - 70% bonds. Good idea?

As noted in other threads, many roads to Dublin on FI. I'm partial to CD ladders. Takes a bit of work, but minimizes surprises.
by john94549
Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Left tail portfolio - 70% bonds. Good idea?
Replies: 36
Views: 2771

Re: Proposed: 35% Maximum Bond Allocation, For Life

If one has a FI portfolio tilted to an IRA CD ladder, what you suggest is not only possible, but what my wife and I could actually do (we are both 67). Stated another way, we have enough in IRA CDs, cash and bond funds, and after-tax CDs, to never, ever, touch our equities. We could leave the equiti...
by john94549
Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Proposed: 35% Maximum Bond Allocation, For Life
Replies: 37
Views: 3669

Re: Where do I put my cash now?

JKPS, if it makes you feel better, I sat on over $10K in VMMXX for ever so long. What I was "waiting" for, I must admit I don't have a clue. I finally plopped into one of my funds, VBIAX, which went up for two whole days, then down for a few more, and is now a smidge green, but not by much...
by john94549
Wed Sep 17, 2014 9:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do I put my cash now?
Replies: 23
Views: 2501

Re: Looking to park some Emergency Fund

Stretching for yield can be disconcerting. For "ready cash" (which some call an emergency fund), the best option is usually the simplest, a garden-variety savings account, where you can transfer money as need be to a checking account. Preferably with no fees, and no charge for checking. Wh...
by john94549
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking to park some Emergency Fund
Replies: 9
Views: 614

Re: Stable value funds with tickers?

Before my wife's 401K stopped offering it (or Schwab discontinued it), the 401K offered a Schwab stable-value fund. I looked up the CUSIP, called Schwab (with whom I have an account) and tried to find out what it "was", so to speak. Four "let me connect you to"s later, I found a ...
by john94549
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stable value funds with tickers?
Replies: 8
Views: 710

Re: Allocation plan that hedges for potential large inherite

I would echo Poster Minot's observation. Search the Board for posts on Long-Term-Care Insurance. Even at today's cost for in-home care, not to mention what it might be 10 or 20 years from now, expectancies can be swiftly eroded. Furthermore, as others have noted, heirs who might benefit from an esta...
by john94549
Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Allocation plan that hedges for potential large inheritence
Replies: 7
Views: 553

Re: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets

The best way to protect physical assets "in the home" is the structure itself. The biggest threat(s) are probably water infiltration, pests (of various and sundry sorts), fire, flood, and earth movement (including earthquake). Just a thought. That said, our neighborhood recently installed ...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets
Replies: 50
Views: 3936

Re: Vacation Home

You're not crazy. We did just about the same thing back in 1990. Kaanapali Alii, Maui. Before they could no longer make the trip to Maui, our parents enjoyed the "free trip" to their kids' condo. Meanwhile, our children always loved Maui. Now, with children of their own (our grandchildren)...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vacation Home
Replies: 27
Views: 2527

Re: Experience w/financing for non-year round dwelling?

IlliniDave, some thoughts. First, as I understand, you plan to borrow against your principal residence. Accordingly, you will incur interest. Whether some or all of this interest is deductible as against ordinary income (even if you do not rent the property) seems to be the "second home" i...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience w/financing for non-year round dwelling?
Replies: 7
Views: 231

Re: Experience w/financing for non-year round dwelling?

IlliniDave, I'd still run this by your CPA. Just my $.02.
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience w/financing for non-year round dwelling?
Replies: 7
Views: 231

Re: Experience w/financing for non-year round dwelling?

We chose to pay-off our vacation (rental) property indebtedness with a re-fi on our principal residence. I assume the principles are the same. Even with a cash-out re-fi on our principal residence, the rate was ever so much lower than the existing (or re-fi) rate on the vacation (rental) property.* ...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience w/financing for non-year round dwelling?
Replies: 7
Views: 231

Re: Tiny house movement.

When I read the title to the thread, I thought OP was concerned about minor differential settlement.
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [can my family live in a] Tiny house
Replies: 55
Views: 3583

Re: Why Invest in Bonds in your early 30s?

At any age, a healthy dollop of bond funds gives you flexibility to re-balance. Such dollop also offers an "anchor-to-windward" should equities decline precipitously (and I'm using that in the classic Latin sense, as in, "off the cliff." While I am, personally, a huge fan of CD l...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Invest in Bonds in your early 30s?
Replies: 43
Views: 3515

Re: Weekend getaway for 25th Anniversary

I was stationed in Charleston in the Navy. Can't go wrong. Of course, when time permitted, Savannah. One of the nicer places to be stationed in the early 70's, might I add. Charleston liquor laws were a bit odd back then. I recall you could order alcohol off-base, but only from a "Member's Bott...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Weekend getaway for 25th Anniversary
Replies: 6
Views: 690

Re: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi

Poster EnjoyIt's observations (from both perspectives) illustrate why everyone, if able, should opt for in-home nursing if eligible. His point about "confusion" as a sign of UTI is excellent. In-home caregivers are much more likely to pick up on such subtle cues. I know my Mom was much hap...
by john94549
Mon Sep 15, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi
Replies: 63
Views: 6050

Building a CD Ladder

Based on a recent PM exchange, thought I'd note a quirk in CD ladders these days. As a general rule, the longer "out" you go, the better rates are. Thus, at least theoretically, you should keep money for year one in a savings account, and years thereafter laddered, in one-year increments. ...
by john94549
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Building a CD Ladder
Replies: 3
Views: 525

Re: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?

We've always found our "ready cash" reserve helpful. Being able to transfer money from an interest-bearing savings account to a checking account on-line, then write the check, very simple. Case-in-point, our recent home renovations.
by john94549
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do I need to hold my emergency fund in cash?
Replies: 29
Views: 3223

Re: Mortgage sold to shady lender

Might (or might not) work, but you might contact your originator with your concerns. They originated the loan, they collected your fee, perhaps points as well, then sold the loan. Not saying they didn't have the right to do so, but your concerns are better expressed to the originator than others. Wh...
by john94549
Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mortgage sold to shady lender
Replies: 9
Views: 1009

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

Victoria, the French spoken in the Touraine is about as accent-free as it comes. If you want immersion, you might think about the University at Tours. Funny story: after six months in Tours, they knew I wasn't a native-speaker, but they thought I was Polish.
by john94549
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1388

Re: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean

Seasonally, your best bet would be in Autumn. I should note that your various preferences (near the end of your post) will reduce your options.
by john94549
Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Time Of Year To Visit Mediterranean
Replies: 28
Views: 1388

Re: Buying CDs

Abyan, select the "out" button if this happens. Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions.
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying CDs
Replies: 30
Views: 3466

Re: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi

I can only comment anecdotally. Toward the end of her life, my Mom was spending well upwards of $5K/mo on private-pay, in-home nursing. She had the classic loss of two "ADLs" (activities of daily life). She always self-insured against such LTC, lived to 98 1/2, and never had to hassle with...
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You may want to rethink the odds of ever needing LTCi
Replies: 63
Views: 6050

Re: Is my computer monitor going bad?

Funny story. Early marriage, and somewhat broke, our old TV began to fail, and the bottom third of the picture was inverted. We didn't have the money to replace it, and our son spent his formative years watching TV with that picture inversion. To this day, he tells that story, as he always assumed (...
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer monitor going bad?
Replies: 12
Views: 729

Re: Why do so many think their home is a foolproof investmen

nobsinvestor wrote:Why do so many people believe that owning/buying a home is a surefire way to make money on it down the road?


I was unaware of this. My goodness.
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:05 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do so many think their home is a foolproof investment?
Replies: 125
Views: 6381

Re: Interest rates

The problem with assessing the impact of ZIRP on seniors (or any other cohort "spending" income from FI) is the paucity of data. Everyone seems to assume seniors are running around with oversize CD portfolios, Social Security, and little else. Ergo, ZIRP must have impacted spending, or res...
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest rates
Replies: 12
Views: 1440

Re: treating all investment accounts as one pool of money

I do not count monies set aside for dedicated and planned near-term (five year or less) expenses in AA. I also don't count the "ready cash" fund (some refer to it as the EF). Stated another way, I've already assumed those monies are "spent" (or will be), so they don't qualify as ...
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: treating all investment accounts as one pool of money
Replies: 26
Views: 2312

Re: Buying CDs

While I agree with poster dm200 that mid-term EWP changes should not be allowed, they have. That said, unless you purchase a CD with the intent to exercise a "break strategy", it's academic. I do recall even Ft. Knox FCU offered folks an "out" with no EWP when they announced thei...
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying CDs
Replies: 30
Views: 3466

Re: Retiree Poll: Do you own your primary residence?

The prospective capital gains tax bite (even after the exclusion) and Prop 13 are anchors. We'll probably leave the house to the kids.
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiree Poll: Do you own your primary residence?
Replies: 18
Views: 1595

Re: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?

My wife's BMW convertible started having issues just about as soon as it was out of warranty. She loved it, but it was very expensive to maintain. Her last repair quote was (ironically enough) $2500. The independent German car repair owner (where she had been taking the car) candidly advised her to ...
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Repair/maintain the BMW or get a new car?
Replies: 24
Views: 2161

Re: terminology in legal contracts

Cross it out. Unless you're an insurance company and are being compensated for the risk assumed, it's a very bad idea.
by john94549
Sat Sep 13, 2014 6:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: terminology in legal contracts
Replies: 10
Views: 872

Re: The dangerous practice of rebalancing...

This is silly.
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The dangerous practice of rebalancing...
Replies: 182
Views: 12121
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