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Re: Here's another "where should I retire" thread

We relocated in retirement a few miles south of Charlotte NC in Union County. My wife and I grew up in NYC and lived in the DC Metro area for 35 years (Alexandria, Fairfax, F'burg and Arlington). So we had similar concerns about not living in another big metropolitan area but we wanted some cultura...
by johnep
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Here's another "where should I retire" thread
Replies: 31
Views: 1154

Re: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice

My wife and I are under contract to purchase our first home. We had our inspection today and I am looking for some advice from those of you who are more experienced and wiser in this arena than I am. Here is some background info: Owner purchased home in 2009 for $115,000 Owner put on a $8,000 roof ...
by johnep
Sun Jul 20, 2014 7:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying First Home - Inspection Follow Up Advice
Replies: 22
Views: 1805

Re: Options/guidance for a lazy person to be fit

sorry ogd, I disagree. Jogging will do it. I've jogged over 30 years now. Started originally to lose weight, which came off rapidly, then got hooked on the buzz I got from it. I've been able to keep the weight off all these years by doing so. At your age, 10 years less than mine, get a stress test,...
by johnep
Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Options/guidance for a lazy person to be fit
Replies: 79
Views: 5083

Re: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?

I answered no but did use my HELOC to pay for it. 6 months later I have paid it down to about $3k (from original $24k). I have either paid cash or used HELOC to buy all my cars in last 30 years except for an interest free loan for a Sonata. When I used HELOC, I aggressively pay loan off, usually in ...
by johnep
Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: If you own a car, do you have a car payment?
Replies: 110
Views: 6185

Re: Snake!

No, used to live in Florida -- now they have some serious snakes! These black ones are pretty harmless but they can scare the crap out of you if you aren't paying attention. They aren't constrictors and they aren't poisonous. Probably only bite if harassed or surprised. I checked Internet and accor...
by johnep
Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snake!
Replies: 51
Views: 3885

Re: Snake!

We have a 7 foot black snake that hangs out in our crawl space and probably our attic. He also gets in our storage building too. Like others have said, they do a lot of good and are harmless but I have never convinced my wife of that. I have had to go into crawl space quite a bit recently dealing wi...
by johnep
Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snake!
Replies: 51
Views: 3885

Re: Anyone here flip houses?

Thanks for all the info. I definitely won't be able to do the renovations myself, not only do I lack time but I lack the skill for that kind of work. My best friends dad, however, does this kind of work all the time. He does paint, carpet, builds cabinets, etc. Now if plumbing and electrical were t...
by johnep
Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone here flip houses?
Replies: 39
Views: 4270

Re: Vanguard Internet

IMO, you are being a little paranoid but it is wise to have concern and caution about your accounts online. Vanguard will reimburse any financial loss provided you have complied with your responsibilities (secure password, anti virus software, etc.). The following is key excerpt from Vanguard policy...
by johnep
Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Internet
Replies: 23
Views: 2670

Re: Future plan with recent lung cancer diagnosis

I am very sorry to hear of your condition. My prayer is that it is treatable and that you will recover. I would suggest making sure your will, POA, health care directive and similar legal documents are uptodate. Also, make sure beneficiary designations on IRAs are as you want them. Review everything...
by johnep
Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Future plan with recent lung cancer diagnosis
Replies: 25
Views: 3787

Re: When you retire you plan to?

I retired at end of 2010. Our initial plan was to relocate to either the mountains or beach but decided to wait on rebound of housing market. In interim, we did some major remodeling and have decided to stay put for now. Our house is a nice size (2000 sqft) and is a ranch, so very few steps to navig...
by johnep
Tue Jul 08, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you retire you plan to?
Replies: 44
Views: 3356

Re: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle? -- REVISED

I bought a new 2014 camry hybrid in December 2013 so I am one of few with new car. However, I usually drive cars for around 10 years and 150k miles. Survey caught me when I had just bought a new car. Our other car is a 2007 Avalon which we will likely keep another 3 to 5 years.
by johnep
Tue Jul 08, 2014 7:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: How Old is Your Newest Motor Vehicle? -- REVISED
Replies: 51
Views: 2965

Re: Stocks And Corporate Bonds

I think the funds you selected are excellent choices. As previous poster said, the exact allocation depends upon your age, risk tolerance, etc.
by johnep
Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stocks And Corporate Bonds
Replies: 2
Views: 327

Re: Vanguard - Energy Fund

I owned it for about 15 years but sold it in 2012 to simplify portfolio and reduce risk. It dramatically outperformed S&P500 during that time but is volatile and can underperform for periods of time. I think it is a good choice for younger investors for a small allocation of your AA.
by johnep
Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard - Energy Fund
Replies: 31
Views: 3800

Re: Should I go back?

It seems the main trade offs are higher pay and longer hours at corporation (plus longer commute) versus quality of life and eventually a pension at state job. You have to make the decision. The salary differential is huge but you will work for it. State govts usually have step plans that allow you ...
by johnep
Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I go back?
Replies: 32
Views: 3147

Re: How many Bogleheads golf?

not a golfer but I understand in my South Florida area you are required to use a cart - I guess the concern is for the golfer actually finishing play during hot spells; and to get the extra fee :evil: You're right, at least at most of the clubs with which I'm familiar. Many of the courses aren't re...
by johnep
Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many Bogleheads golf?
Replies: 81
Views: 4295

Re: Bad paint job - Course of action help pls

You are in somewhat of an awkward position. You relied on the designer to manager the painting project. You now have reservations about her as well as obvious reservations about the painting contractor. How do you know if the designer has accurately communicated everything to the painting contractor...
by johnep
Mon Jun 30, 2014 2:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bad paint job - Course of action help pls
Replies: 28
Views: 2512

Re: Human capital, financial capital

In my long management career, I had the unpleasant task of laying people off from their jobs many times. Many of these people were surprised and thought they had "safe" jobs. In our modern global economy, there are fewer safe jobs than there used to be with the ability to outsource a wide ...
by johnep
Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Human capital, financial capital
Replies: 14
Views: 1140

Re: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?

LBYM really has nothing to do with the car you drive. If you drive an older and perhaps less safe and less reliable car as a badge of honor when you don't need to...that is nothing to brag about. If you have everything else in your financial house in order, no bills, don't need to access your retir...
by johnep
Mon Jun 30, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Millionaire Next Door: Are You One?
Replies: 187
Views: 22159

Re: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?

I have a document that I update yearly that includes our investment plan, all financial accounts and positions, and net worth. I give copies to my wife and daughter. My wife does not understand investing and would have to rely on my daughter after my death. I rarely talk about investments with anyon...
by johnep
Sun Jun 29, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who do you talk with about your financial goals?
Replies: 158
Views: 9059

Re: favorite mid/low-priced Caribbean locale?

Bermuda does not fit your criteria for low price but it is my favorite island destination by far. Great food, shopping and beaches plus it does not have the crime and poverty so many locations have.
by johnep
Thu Jun 26, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: favorite mid/low-priced Caribbean locale?
Replies: 30
Views: 3257

Re: finding an adviser/handholder for wife

Best wishes on your surgery. I hope it is successful and you recover quickly. My wife is similar to what you describe of your wife. Some good suggestions have been made to you. In my situation, my wife would need someone she could meet with face to face. Your wife may be the same. If so, this rules ...
by johnep
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: finding an adviser/handholder for wife
Replies: 15
Views: 2592

Re: Poll: Retirement tax bracket?

I was surprised that I was in the top 12%. Based upon 3 years of participation on this forum, I know there are plenty of people with far more resources than me on this forum. My pension and SS put me in the 30%+ (federal and state) tax bracket. I also did some some Roth conversions, but that did not...
by johnep
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:26 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Poll: Retirement tax bracket?
Replies: 24
Views: 2660

Re: Poll: Dave Ramsey - Harmful or helpful?

His focus is primarily in helping people get out of debt, budget properly and manage their finances. What is not to like about that? His investment advice leaves something to be desired but that is a minor part of what he does.
by johnep
Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Dave Ramsey - Harmful or helpful?
Replies: 65
Views: 5060

Re: Would you check my math? annual vs. monthly payment

I looked at this differently. $151.50 per month equals $1,818 for a year. Annual payment of $1,744.50 divided by $1,818 equals .95957 for a 4% discount for paying annually. Not a slam dunk choice to pay annually but worth considering.
by johnep
Sun Jun 22, 2014 7:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Would you check my math? annual vs. monthly payment
Replies: 14
Views: 1177

Re: How much $$ to change jobs?

Hi, this is my situation. I am 31 and currently have a great working environment in the federal govt. I have a great work-life balance, very decent pay for the amount and type of work I do, relatively stress-free, a lot of flexibility in managing my workload and being able to take vacations pretty ...
by johnep
Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much $$ to change jobs?
Replies: 52
Views: 4133

Re: American Automobile Assn (AAA)

We have long time membership with AAA and it has come in handy several times. Most notable was a burst water hose on a trip. It burst about 40 miles from home on return trip about 9pm on a Saturday night. It took about 2 hours for wrecker to arrive but he towed us to our house and we replaced hose t...
by johnep
Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: American Automobile Assn (AAA)
Replies: 51
Views: 3395

Re: Should we or shouldn't we make a move at this age?

I have a couple of suggestions to consider before going to the extreme of moving. First, have an arborist inspect the tree. He should be able to give advice as to your concerns. It sounds like the tree itself is of no danger to your house but hearing him confirm that should ease your mind. He can al...
by johnep
Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should we or shouldn't we make a move at this age?
Replies: 37
Views: 2883

Re: Need Guidance with choosing an investment professional

PS: Generally in locations that have Schwab, Scottrade, TDAmeritrade, there is also a Fidelity office around the corner, so I am surprised it is not on your list. Also, "face time" can be had via the internet, so consider not having someone local. Sorry... there is a local Fidelity office...
by johnep
Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Guidance with choosing an investment professional
Replies: 17
Views: 1178

Re: What Do You Eat For Snacks?

Granola is very filling and tasty. Also yogurt is filling and healthy
by johnep
Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Do You Eat For Snacks?
Replies: 103
Views: 6209

Re: Should I buy time in my gov't pension plan?

I bought 5.3 years of service for cost of $63k. It was a no brainer even though our multiplier was 1.85. I borrowed most of the funds because at the time they did not allow the use of 401k funds. They changed the rule to allow use of pre tax funds shortly after I purchased mine. I would recommend us...
by johnep
Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:17 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I buy time in my gov't pension plan?
Replies: 24
Views: 2163

Re: Remodeling for 4th bedroom

I would consider the possibility of creatively using the living room as a bedroom, without making permanent changes to the structure. Instead of a closet, wardrobes, or clothing racks could be used. The use of screens for privacy may work. This type of approach would give you the utility you are lo...
by johnep
Fri Jun 13, 2014 7:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Remodeling for 4th bedroom
Replies: 6
Views: 714

Re: Help me pick International Equity Fund

Thanks guys. Anybody a fan of the dodge and cox fund to split with vanguard total? Seems this fund gets some respect around here despite the higher er I'm not necessarily opposed to actively managed funds and I even have a soft spot for Dodge and Cox. The problem is that their international funds n...
by johnep
Thu Jun 12, 2014 7:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me pick International Equity Fund
Replies: 10
Views: 870

Re: Property tax (Illinois)

You can appeal your valuation but will need to present a reasoned argument for the valuation. The best arguments are based upon comparable property. Property valuations are usually done on a mass basis (computer assisted mass appraisal - CAMA), so every property is not precisely valued. There is an ...
by johnep
Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Property tax (Illinois)
Replies: 16
Views: 1316

Re: 2014 Income tax changes in North Carolina

I live in NC and have already estimated my 2014 taxes based upon the changes that take effect this year I just used 2013 form and adjusted based upon known changes: tax rate, deductions, etc. I may be off a little but i doubt it will be by much. Personal income taxes for NC are pretty simple for mos...
by johnep
Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2014 Income tax changes in North Carolina
Replies: 5
Views: 921

Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Father, the kid may not like sports. But he actually might. I am surprised nobody has picked up on what COULD be the problem, but not definitely. You should not coach your own son. Are you kidding? You are his father. So I suggest giving him the opportunity to play for a coach that is not his fathe...
by johnep
Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports
Replies: 115
Views: 5439

Re: Demographics of Millennials and how that will affect ret

There is a negative economic impact on countries with aging populations (Western Europe, China and Japan). There is a greater emphasis on health care and less consumer spending. Conversely, there is a positive economic impact on countries with younger populations (India, Brazil and other emerging co...
by johnep
Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Demographics of Millennials and how that will affect returns
Replies: 14
Views: 1853

Re: Financial Books & Guides

GiGiLuna, I appreciate your comments and question. When I first joined the forum I read several books by authors who advocate passive investing and/or Boglehead philosophy. They were helpful but it seems most of these authors continue to churn out books on an investment philosophy that is pretty sim...
by johnep
Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Financial Books & Guides
Replies: 11
Views: 745

Re: Stick Around for a 20% Gain?

I would continue to work for several more years to increase the pension provided I could tolerate the work. Once you get to a point that you know you can quote Johnny Paycheck anytime things get really bad, it generally makes things more tolerable as you can have a different perspective on the job. ...
by johnep
Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stick Around for a 20% Gain?
Replies: 17
Views: 2950

Re: Avoiding the two house monster...

Why not sue him in small claims court? You can avoid attorney fees and it sounds like you have a good chance of winning. If so, a judgment would be placed on his property requiring settlement before he sold the house.
by johnep
Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding the two house monster...
Replies: 21
Views: 2172

Re: Gutter Strainer - Is this worth it?

We put vinyl covers on the gutters. They come in pieces 3 feet long. They have a slit for the water to run into. Most everything else is kept out. We have had them on the gutters for 7 years now, and have not had to have the gutters cleaned in that time. They were not expensive. The gutter company ...
by johnep
Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gutter Strainer - Is this worth it?
Replies: 14
Views: 1458

Re: Silly to trade in new car for used?

I strongly favor keeping the car as well. Also, is the $21,000 value the retail value of the car. If so, you will not likely get that if you sell it yourself and will definitely get far less in a tradein. Unless you sell the car yourself and buy your older car from a private party (sometimes risky!)...
by johnep
Fri Jun 06, 2014 8:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silly to trade in new car for used?
Replies: 18
Views: 1318

Re: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage does not provide coverage for your vehicle. If you are struck by an uninsured motorist your vehicle repairs are provided under your collision policy, less your deductible. If you had "liability only" on your vehicle you would have not had any c...
by johnep
Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Replies: 40
Views: 1864

Re: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage

I was rear ended by an illegal with no id, no insurance about 3 years ago. No injuries but uninsured coverage paid for repairs to my car less deductible. When my son was a teenage driver, he was rear ended twice by uninsured motorists that did substantial damage to his car. Unfortunately, there are ...
by johnep
Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uninsured / Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Replies: 40
Views: 1864

Re: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance

Some people seem overly obsessed with saving as much as they can for a wonderful retirement, and in the process, deprive themselves of many things. They lose sight of the fact there is a lot of life to live before retirement. I have seen many people who never got to enjoy their retirement due to an ...
by johnep
Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:29 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping up with the neighbors and Balance
Replies: 95
Views: 9678

Re: comparing state taxes in retirement

There is a lot of variability between states in excluding part or all of social security and pensions. State income tax rates by themselves can be misleading for retirees without considering SS/pension exclusions. As others have stated, you have to look at taxes within a state holistically, consider...
by johnep
Mon Jun 02, 2014 8:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: comparing state taxes in retirement
Replies: 17
Views: 1921

Re: Failure of active fund managers (example)

FWIW, the pension funds I am familiar with have a balanced AA. The NC state pension fund usually has about 55 to 60%, 30 to 35% bonds and 10% alternative investments (real estate, hedge and private equity). In recent years, their equity and bond portfolio have matched or beat their benchmarks but th...
by johnep
Thu May 29, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Failure of active fund managers (example)
Replies: 10
Views: 806

Re: Int'l travel & Fidelity card experiences?

I just returned from Middle East and was advised to use my credit card (Visa) for most transactions if you are dealing with reputable merchants. I did this and found that I needed far less cash. Of course, I was part of a tour group and our hotel and most of our food was already paid for. Had I not ...
by johnep
Thu May 29, 2014 11:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int'l travel & Fidelity card experiences?
Replies: 20
Views: 1880

Re: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?

As others have stated, the extent to which a hybrid is cost effective depends upon several factors: the type of car and model, driving pattern (city and highway), and number of miles you expect to drive the car. The cost effectiveness is based upon current gas prices which can fluctuate and if/when ...
by johnep
Thu May 29, 2014 8:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are hybrid cars a good idea yet?
Replies: 105
Views: 8079

Re: Costs that go down/away or go up/first appear in retirem

I retired about 6 years ago, a few things that may go up; 1. Utilities, if you worked and your home was idle during the day. 2. Recreation. You have a lot more time to enjoy. 3. Health Care, obvious. 4. Meals (if in your job you travelled and some meals were covered by employer via expense reports)...
by johnep
Thu May 29, 2014 8:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costs that go down/away or go up/first appear in retirement
Replies: 30
Views: 2862

Re: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice

A gift of over 100 k would involve you paying a gift tax. The lawyer was wrong (I think probably a miscommunication); 2nd mortgage can foreclose, but they won't bother if the 1st is underwater because they won't get anything. My guess is that they would be open to a settlement. That would put a mar...
by johnep
Mon May 26, 2014 10:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay off son's mortgage - need advice
Replies: 14
Views: 986
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