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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: 16
Views: 1237

Re: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets

This thread seems to have wandered into never-never land. Example (I'm extending the arguendo ad absurdum): pit bulls require feeding and care, guns and bullets do not. Guns are better. On the other hand, pit bulls might, or might not, lick your face. Or rip it off.
by john94549
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most cost effective means of protecting physical assets
Replies: 68
Views: 3029

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: 576

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: 666

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: 517

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: 68
Views: 3029

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: 2316

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: 228

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: 228

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: 228

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: 53
Views: 3106

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: 36
Views: 2785

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: 675

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: 57
Views: 4752

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: 501

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: 2993

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: 993

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: 1341

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: 1341

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: 3255

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: 57
Views: 4752

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: 681

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: 6087

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: 1391

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: 2222

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: 3255

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: 1568

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: 2053

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: 860

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: 179
Views: 10574

Re: AARP Bulletin: Retirement Guide

AARP-eligible folks already knew about CD ladders, IRA CDs with no EWP for partial withdrawals for those over 59 1/2, right? (actually, probably, no). The problem with most of these articles, whether on-line, in newspapers, magazines, or whatever, is that they must be limited in size, scope, and ana...
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: AARP Bulletin mentions Bogleheads Guide to Retirement Planni
Replies: 11
Views: 652

Re: Reality check (house purchase)

Buying versus renting is a personal decision. FWIW, my wife and I bought a starter house in Sunnyvale in 1973, while in our mid-20s (born 1947), and parents on both sides thought us crazy. Sold five years later (in 1978) for a $60K profit ($43K => $103K). Bought a home in Lafayette for $180K with a ...
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reality check (house purchase)
Replies: 16
Views: 2007

Re: Ethics of Multi-Generational Tax Optimization

It might raise ethical issues if the plan left inadequate funds should the elder live longer than anticipated, but is that realistic?
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ethics of Multi-Generational Tax Optimization
Replies: 23
Views: 1766

Re: Personal Liability Insurance

For planning purposes, you should assume no coverage. For example, if one owns a home, homeowner's liability coverage will exclude business activities. Same with a car (think car-sharing). If you have a business, you need both primary and umbrella (or excess) insuring the business. Dog walker => dog...
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Liability Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 517

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

One other note. During the tear-off and re-roof, myriad and sundry will fall into your garage, and areas adjacent to the house. Be very, very careful when sweeping. Our roofers swept and blew, but I still found several nails and other nasty-looking U-shaped things with very pointed edges just outsid...
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 2805

Re: Bond Allocation

Hard to find any "high quality" FI these days in the range you posit. You might find some outlier 10-yr CDs in the 3% range, or you could go for the thirty Treasury laddered, but yields are still pretty anemic, though they seem to have turned. As noted in other threads, a five-year ladder ...
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:50 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Allocation
Replies: 10
Views: 1638

Re: Hedge Mortgage Interest Rates

Today is a good example of how hard it is to hedge. The ten yield went up over 3%; the 10-yr inverse ETN was up, but less than 2%. To have hedged the ten properly today, you'd have needed DLBS, the long-bond inverse ETN. Go figure. One of those days when both equities and bonds were selling off. It ...
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:23 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hedge Mortgage Interest Rates
Replies: 7
Views: 632

Re: Two Fund real Lazy Portfolio?

VBIAX (88%) and VTIAX (12%).
by john94549
Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:42 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Two Fund real Lazy Portfolio?
Replies: 19
Views: 2156

Re: Clean, quiet, safe and cheap. Is there such a travel pla

Are you thinking of just living on a rural farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere? I hear this is what a farmhouse in parts of France are like. They come with a one-speed bike to ride into town for a baguette and cheese. You could do this in Iowa, too. OK, no bike, no cheese, and no baguette. Spri...
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clean, quiet, safe and cheap. Is there such a travel place?
Replies: 75
Views: 5447

Re: Getting an independent mechanic check on a CPO car?

You've raised an interesting question. For those of us who might need a replacement vehicle in the future, but clearly do not need a "new" car, how do we react? I, for one, have no "independent mechanic" on retainer. How might I find one? All these posts advising that one have &q...
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting an independent mechanic check on a CPO car?
Replies: 4
Views: 390

Re: Should I break my CD at Ally and get a new one's ?

OP, PenFed is easy to join. They might, or might not, have any specials on tap toward the end of the year. Of course, that's not to say other specials, at other institutions, might not pop up. You might wish to go to Ken Tumin's blog, http://www.depositaccounts.com/blog, and review the weekly CD rat...
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I break my CD at Ally and get a new one's ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1775

Re: Should I break my CD at Ally and get a new one's ?

As noted by poster "Kevin M", break strategies do get complicated. Personally, I've just bitten the bullet, bought the best around to roll my ladder, then called it a day. I've always found a five-year ladder of five-year CDs quite simple. I have some outlier CDs (a couple of 7-yrs at PenF...
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I break my CD at Ally and get a new one's ?
Replies: 14
Views: 1775

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

I would echo poster "Alan S" comments above. Get it done right the first time, by a local company you (and your neighbors) trust, which actually honors their warranty, and will come out on a Sunday evening at 8 p.m. in a downpour, which (of course) is when stuff leaks. We just finished our...
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 2805

Re: Should anyone invest in short-term bonds at this point?

OP: one thing I forgot to mention was the IRA CD option at several institutions (for folks over 59 1/2). For folks in that cohort, there's no EWP for a partial withdrawal. You get the higher rate (say, of a 5-yr CD) with the liquidity of a savings account, or a bond fund.
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should anyone invest in short-term bonds at this point?
Replies: 46
Views: 3690

Re: Hedge Mortgage Interest Rates

A proper short would be against the ten. You might be able to purchase an inverse ETN through VBS*. That said, fees are high, and correlations are spotty. Adding to your woes, you'd need to purchase an amount equal to or greater than your planned mortgage, to account for same. Then, how long do you ...
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hedge Mortgage Interest Rates
Replies: 7
Views: 632

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

I'd consider dealing only with a locally-owned/operated company, with a physical presence in your community, and a long list of satisfied customers. Bargain for the longest warranty you can.
by john94549
Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 2805

Re: Visit to SFO Area - Dining

"Deem sum" at Yank Sing is something I forgot to mention. They wheel around carts filled with Chinese delicacies you've no doubt never heard of. You point to what you want, they plop on your table. Again, best for lunch, and close to your tour. As you point to stuff and order off the carts...
by john94549
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visit to SFO Area - Dining
Replies: 14
Views: 1020

Re: Visit to SFO Area - Dining

OK, for an original San Francisco "not duplicated elsewhere" experience go to Tadich's. Surly waiters, private booths off to the side (with call buttons), and food to die for. Mind you, this is where all the rich and powerful used to go (and probably still do) to eat veal piccata and plot ...
by john94549
Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Visit to SFO Area - Dining
Replies: 14
Views: 1020

Re: It appears that Ally Bank just increased their Savings R

Direction, not magnitude. StateFarmBank recently raised its rate on their 5-yr CD from 2.1 to 2.15. Alliant Credit Union bumped its 48-mo CD from 1.7 to 2.1. Overall, it would appear financial institutions have gotten the message.
by john94549
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It appears that Ally Bank just increased their Savings Rate.
Replies: 11
Views: 2389

Re: Professional indemnity insurance

Your concern involves "errors and omissions" insurance, generally issued on a "claims made" basis, and valid only if in effect when the claim is made. Most professionals (myself included) buy lifetime tail coverage when they retire. But most does not equal all. If you want to get...
by john94549
Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Professional indemnity insurance
Replies: 4
Views: 279
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