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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: 52
Views: 2768

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: 1
Views: 136

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: 32
Views: 2177

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: 2
Views: 162

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: 8
Views: 542

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: 1989

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: 1285

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: 1467

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: 939

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: 1616

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: 32
Views: 2177

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: 2
Views: 423

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: 42
Views: 3680

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: 1989

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: 692

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: 3208

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: 42
Views: 3893

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: 31
Views: 2270

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: 1532

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: 42
Views: 3893

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: 702

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: 31
Views: 2270

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: 37185

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: 2640

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: 37185

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: 2240

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: 3208

Re: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations

I was also terse, but "one check, one gift, one return, no tax" seems fairly straight-forward. Given the life-time limit, why complicate things? The downside is the donor needs to fill out a gift tax return. If that's an impediment, the donee can help fill it out for the donor (as I sugges...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations
Replies: 32
Views: 2555

Re: Question about Bond Mutual Funds and High Interest CD's

I've always suggested looking into a CD ladder and bond funds. It's not an "either/or" proposition. Each serves different functions and is worthy of consideration. Many threads herein on the advantages and disadvantages of both. For example, with bond funds, it is ever so much easier to re...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question about Bond Mutual Funds and High Interest CD's
Replies: 15
Views: 1317

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

For us, the "road to Hana" was like a movie that could have been edited to a much shorter length. Haleakala was nice, but (aside from the crater) like being in Northern California. South Maui was not to our taste, as each resort had its own beach (postage-stamp-sized), but you needed a car...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Re: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL

My Mom had macular and a substantial hearing deficit (deaf in one ear and major deficit in the other). Her eye doctor convinced her. Amazing how many options there are these days for non-driving seniors. In her locale it was called "catch-a-ride", staffed by other retired folks who happily...
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL
Replies: 69
Views: 3639

Re: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations

You could be nice and fill it out for her, but I suspect her accountant will handle. One check, one gift, one return. No tax.
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: large cash gift from parent - tax considerations
Replies: 32
Views: 2555

Re: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice

Drive a few miles south to Kaanapali. Park at the garage at Whaler's Village. Spend the afternoon on the beach, people watching, shopping (if you wish), doing a whale watch, etc. If you want the classic large, long, beach, Kaanapali is worth the short drive. Roy's is now located at Kaanapali, as well.
by john94549
Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hawaii Visit (Maui). Need advice
Replies: 31
Views: 2300

Re: Where to get medallion signature guarantee

I'm going through various transfers of stock and bond holdings in our trust, as I am successor trustee. The companies holding the assets basically delegate transfer veracity to the provider of the MSG (are you who you say you are, are you really the successor trustee, do you have powers under the tr...
by john94549
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to get medallion signature guarantee
Replies: 31
Views: 2270

Re: Advice on Brokerage CDs?

For a 5-yr CD that one intends to hold to maturity, the advantages and disadvantages are fairly straight-forward. If the brokered CD pays a lower rate than the best-available retail CD, and (in addition) does not compound the interest, then the advantage of the retail CD is apparent. On the other ha...
by john94549
Sat Jan 24, 2015 7:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice on Brokerage CDs?
Replies: 25
Views: 979

Re: Foreclosed-Law Firm pursuing amount of second lo

While Bogleheads forum can often proffer tips and hints regarding legal situations, there comes a point when you must hire an advocate.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreclosed-Law Firm pursuing amount of second lo
Replies: 31
Views: 2288

Re: How should I invest 13k when I'm in college?

Your best bet would probably be a garden-variety savings account. Don't focus on yield, or growth, just liquidity. Should you be able to graduate from college with liquidity, and no debt, you will be ever so far ahead of the game.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How should I invest 13k when I'm in college?
Replies: 9
Views: 458

Re: What age did you pay off your "forever" home

We're currently both 67, and "might" pay it off this year or next. No great rush, as our interest rate is 3.4% and has 28 years or so to run. Given Garn-StGermain, we might never pay it off, and let the kids "inherit" the rate. It's an option we've considered. We re-fi'd a couple...
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you pay off your "forever" home
Replies: 52
Views: 4041

Re: What types of insurance should I buy?

Renter's insurance is quite cheap. Lawsuits are not.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What types of insurance should I buy?
Replies: 7
Views: 658

Re: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting

Our interior painters just finished today. He decided to do it with a crew of four. They finished in 4 1/2 days instead of a full five days. Must say we're pleased, although we wouldn't want to go through this again anytime soon.
by john94549
Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting?
Replies: 55
Views: 4337

Re: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed

I'm a PI lawyer in the SF area. Until recently, I was for many years on the board of directors of the San Francisco Trial Lawyer association. I was also on the board of directors of the California Trial Lawyers Assn. I'm trying to semi-retire or at least slow down, so I don't handle many such cases...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed
Replies: 7
Views: 561

Re: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed

IMHO, you'd be much more likely to get a good referral from a high end personal injury defense lawyer than from an insurance adjustor since they know who their most respected and feared foes are Could not have said it better, but "high end personal injury defense attorney" was basically a...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed
Replies: 7
Views: 561

Re: Emergency Fund: Savings vs. Checking accounts

Alliant Credit Union (easy to join). Plop money in savings (rate is 0.8%, not stellar, but not grotesque). Get your free order of checks. No fees, no minimums, no per-check charges, no gimmicks. When you need the money in checking, go to the website, click transfer from savings to checking, it's ins...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency Fund: Savings vs. Checking accounts
Replies: 21
Views: 1291

Re: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed

Somewhat unconventional, but have your friend contact his or her auto insurance company, and ask to speak to the regional claims office for the county in question. Have your friend ask the following question: "if you were representing an insured, can you recommend a reputable, fair, and honest ...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SF Bay Area Personal injury lawyer recommendation needed
Replies: 7
Views: 561

Re: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)

My wife invested in a similar vehicle many, many years ago. It was called "Prime Plus" and sold through the investment arm of a very large, reputable bank. While it purported to offer a yield of "prime plus X%", the very, very, fine print essentially said the fund managers would ...
by john94549
Thu Jan 22, 2015 12:31 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Real 3% (CPI plus 3% guaranteed)
Replies: 21
Views: 1809

Re: Is a Traditional Annuity ever worth it?

My Mom lived to 98 1/2. She had two annuities, one through UNUM, one through Northwest Mutual. While both were level-payment, and eroded by inflation over the years, she lived within her means, and was always quite happy those deposits were coming in. Worth it? For her peace of mind, you betcha. Iro...
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Traditional Annuity ever worth it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1381

Re: Ethics of an advisor "handing you off" to a colleague

My goodness, where do I start. When I worked for BigLaw, partners did this all the time. It's called "leverage". Rainmakers (partners who are especially good at generating business) do this routinely. It's their job. But it's a delicate balancing act; clients often smell the "bait and...
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of an advisor "handing you off" to a colleague
Replies: 38
Views: 2910

Re: When is cash still king?

Our local Shell station sells gas at "cash" prices which reflect the equivalent margin to the station as credit purchases. I asked.
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When is cash still king?
Replies: 26
Views: 2794

Re: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rate

My wife and I are both age 67 and have owned since age 26. That said, I wouldn't ever suggest to a satisfied renter that he or she rush out and buy a residence. The odds are over-whelming that you will not want to live in that particular house or condo for the duration of the mortgage; moreover, loa...
by john94549
Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly to consider buying a home because of interest rates?
Replies: 29
Views: 2768

Re: Rental investment: Cash or Mortgage?

Generally speaking, mortgage rates on investment properties tend to be high. I suspect this all goes back to the collapse. Quite some time ago, we wrapped, to get out from under the horrid rate on our rental. Then, we just did a cash-out, to get out of the wrap. Point being, loans on rentals are pri...
by john94549
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:24 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental investment: Cash or Mortgage?
Replies: 9
Views: 1073
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