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Re: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make

Since you are a contractor at that company, their management may not appreciate you disclosing your salary and could cause problems for you and your company if you disclose this information. For example, those asking could use this information as leverage in an attempt to get a pay increase from the...
by johnep
Sat Jan 31, 2015 8:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to respond when someone asks how much money you make?
Replies: 73
Views: 5683

Re: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"

One interesting conclusion of article is that the more aggressive asset allocations resulted in lower SWRs for a given probability. "One surprising result is that rates are lower for more aggressive asset allocations. This is inconsistent with other research showing that more aggressive portfol...
by johnep
Sat Jan 31, 2015 7:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Retiring in a Low-Return Environment"
Replies: 63
Views: 5779

Re: Market Timing to Set Retirement Date

Congratulations in being in such good financial shape. I was in a similar position when I retired at age 66. I really liked my job and the people I worked with. My pension and SS would be more than adequate for my and my wife's retirement needs and I had the flexibility to invest my savings however ...
by johnep
Sat Jan 31, 2015 6:40 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Timing to Set Retirement Date
Replies: 10
Views: 797

Re: Trusting and shopping around for doctors

Having a good PCP is really key because, despite Angieslist and other rankings available to the public, it is hard for lay people to determine which doctors are best. I had a great PCP for nearly 20 years and he did an excellent job of referring me to several specialists for different issues. Unfort...
by johnep
Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Trusting and shopping around for doctors
Replies: 32
Views: 1786

Re: New career as Financial Planner late in Life?

I considered a career in FP several years before I retired at age 66. I concluded that it would take years to build up a good client base and by then I would probably be ready to fully retire. It did not seem worth it to me. I felt I would really enjoy working with FP clients but I also wanted to be...
by johnep
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New career as Financial Planner late in Life?
Replies: 29
Views: 2712

Re: What mutual fund companies do you use?

I have brokerage accounts with Fidelity and Vanguard. I own funds/etfs from Fidelity, Vanguard, Dodge & Cox, Blackrock, Sequoia and Artisan.
by johnep
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What mutual fund companies do you use?
Replies: 63
Views: 2887

Re: How do I financially evaluate a company (for a job offer

You should get and review audited financial reports of these public companies. This will provide information about the growth of the company, profitability, its financial health and major issues and items. Also, Google the company name and you should get tons of information. It would also be helpful...
by johnep
Thu Jan 29, 2015 7:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do I financially evaluate a company (for a job offer)?
Replies: 3
Views: 334

Re: SS Conclusion for Mom...Tell me if i'm right.

The prenup seems to put her in a tough spot for her retirement if they divorce. Her savings and limited SS would probably not fund the life style she is currently living. It would be great if she could save more for her own retirement. This could be done with a job or have her husband give her money...
by johnep
Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS Conclusion for Mom...Tell me if i'm right.
Replies: 12
Views: 1305

Re: What age did you move out?

I graduated from HS at 17, worked for a year to save for college, and left for good at 18. Being on your own at that age is hard, but it teaches you a lot of life's lessons at an early age.
by johnep
Wed Jan 28, 2015 7:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What age did you move out?
Replies: 117
Views: 4868

Re: Success stories of NOT buying more/too much house

We built a 2,000 sqft brick ranch on 2 acres in 1973. We had 2 young children and they grew up in the house. Once we were empty nesters, we considered buying another house several times and bought building lots on 2 occasions but eventually sold both lots. We especially considered buying another hom...
by johnep
Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Success stories of NOT buying more/too much house
Replies: 65
Views: 5961

Re: Drinking water

I have a serious acid reflux problem and because of that drink mostly water. I do not drink soft drinks, wine or beer due to the acidity of these. Interestingly, there is quite a variation in ph factor (acidity level) of bottled water. Some of the more expensive bottled waters like Dasani and Aquafi...
by johnep
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water
Replies: 45
Views: 3015

Re: Expected Increases Year after Year on Home Insurance Pre

My homeowners insurance had substantial increases in last 3 years. I called them and asked why the increases were so much higher than CPI. I got a vague answer and said that I was going to shop other insurance companies for rates. They said they could do a reappraisal of my house over the phone and ...
by johnep
Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expected Increases Year after Year on Home Insurance Premium
Replies: 7
Views: 742

Re: What experts say about $5,000 watches

I have used a Seiko for last 15 years. I have gone through 2 wrist bands and numerous batteries, but it is going strong. Also, it is a nice looking watch. I have never understood the Rolex appeal, but then I am a Boglehead!
by johnep
Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 906
Views: 173649

Re: Hardwood flooring - lumber liquidators

I bought about 700 sqft of pre-finished hardwood flooring, 3/4 inch x 4 inch oak, a couple of years ago and installed in living, dining, kitchen and foyer. It is a very nice looking floor and installed easily. The price was around $4 a foot as I recall which was better than comparable products at bi...
by johnep
Sun Jan 25, 2015 8:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hardwood flooring - lumber liquidators
Replies: 17
Views: 5321

Re: How to climb up in a megacorp

Good responses so far. I'm not in a megacorp but I am a PhD consultant and as part of my job I help people move up through megacorps. Get to know your company and the most common paths for promotion. Also, understand who is at the top, are they aggressive? Do they all golf? Figure out what characte...
by johnep
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to climb up in a megacorp
Replies: 37
Views: 4902

Re: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.

This has been an ongoing struggle for us. My wife is a packrat. 18 months ago she reducing her clothing and I took 4 carloads of clothes to a local non profit. She is in process of doing same again although this one should not be 4 carloads of clothes (I hope). I am far from perfect on this but I on...
by johnep
Sat Jan 24, 2015 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Downsize, Reduce, Simplify.
Replies: 65
Views: 7199

Re: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxe

I remember how my accounting professor referred to tax laws and regulations when in Intermediate Accounting. He would refer to the various major tax legislations that were aimed at simplifying the tax code as the "tax accountants relief act of 19xx". It seems every time new tax simplificat...
by johnep
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reporter doing story on pitfalls of doing one's own taxes
Replies: 40
Views: 4691

Re: Effect of European Central Bank QE on US bond rates?

A write-up about the question: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2015-01-22/what-draghi-s-bond-buying-in-europe-means-for-u-s-debt-markets.html The article makes perfect sense. The Euro QE will drive their bond prices up and yields down further. This will make US bonds more attractive and the increased...
by johnep
Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effect of European Central Bank QE on US bond rates?
Replies: 6
Views: 845

Re: Malware problem on new PC

Use Malwarebytes. Don't use anything but reputable software to clean up malware. A lot of the stuff you find on the internet to clean malware is malware itself. Microsoft Security Essentials is also a good tool for viruses and malware. My computer geek guys recommend both Malwarebytes and Microsoft...
by johnep
Thu Jan 22, 2015 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Malware problem on new PC
Replies: 42
Views: 2627

Re: Medicare Newbie

Medicare plans and options can be confusing and complicated. I advise you to signup as soon as you are eligible because you may incur added costs and be subject to insurance underwriting for parts of Medicare if you delay. I highly advise you to contact the SHIIP office in your state who are setup t...
by johnep
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Newbie
Replies: 14
Views: 997

Re: Bernstein article:How to tell if your nest egg is big en

Excellent article and great advice from Dr. Bernstein. I also like the quote from Paschal, so true and applicable to many aspects of life. Thanks for sharing.
by johnep
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:43 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "When you've won the game, stop playing"
Replies: 83
Views: 8392

Re: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance

Family time is precious and you only get one shot at spending time with your kids when they are young. However, I think you can achieve work/life balance and career advancement if your focus is on time with your family and your work. OTOH, if you also want time for your hobbies, sports, time with th...
by johnep
Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Establishing Priorities - Work vs Life Balance
Replies: 20
Views: 1843

Re: Understanding Umbrella vs Auto Lawyers

Most injury lawyers only want the insurance money. They will have their client sign a complete release to get it. If that is often the case, isn't it best to just stick with high limits on your auto insurance? It's been mentioned more than once that having umbrella insurance could make you more att...
by johnep
Tue Jan 20, 2015 6:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Umbrella vs Auto Lawyers
Replies: 16
Views: 1818

Re: To what extent are European stocks better value than US?

The fact European PE is lower does not necessarily mean they are a better value. The Europeans certainly have greater challenges at the moment than the US. Their PE could be too high or too low or perhaps about right. It is difficult to tell right now but we will know in a year whether the valuation...
by johnep
Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:20 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: To what extent are European stocks better value than US?
Replies: 9
Views: 828

Re: How Long Do You Keep Tax Records?

The IRS only requires 3 years of records. However, if they find issues, they require 7 years. Why keep them a day longer?
by johnep
Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:06 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Long Do You Keep Tax Records?
Replies: 28
Views: 2417

Re: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting

These quotes seem very high. Painting that size condo is a good DIY project, especially considering that it is empty which makes it that much easier. If you can take the time, you could save yourself $4,000 (minus paint & supplies) by doing it yourself. You should be able to do the walls and cei...
by johnep
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is this an unreasonable quote for interior home painting?
Replies: 55
Views: 4351

Re: which Brokerage do you use...why?

I use Fidelity and Vanguard brokerages and previously used Schwab. I prefer Fidelity for its ease of use and website. They also have other useful services like live market updates, bond desk, and ability to meet in person with an adviser. I have found their advisers to be well informed, not be pushy...
by johnep
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:30 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: which Brokerage do you use...why?
Replies: 33
Views: 2470

Re: What was your costliest investment mistake?

I left my govt job after 5+ years and cashed in my vested pension share, about $11k. I thought I would never work for govt again. 5 years later, my former govt boss retired early and I replaced him. I had to wait 10 years to buy back my previous time in pension at a cost of $63,500, ouch! Secondly, ...
by johnep
Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your costliest investment mistake?
Replies: 119
Views: 9631

Re: preventive home inspection and maintenance

Doing a home inspection once is a great idea, but I do not think you have to continually do it. You should also have your HVAC serviced regularly, and annual termite inspection. Beyond that, you should be able to spot things needing repair with casual inspections once you have gone through the inspe...
by johnep
Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: preventive home inspection and maintenance
Replies: 8
Views: 824

Re: Fidelity Customers, What Do You Hold at FIDO?

I am longtime Fidelity customer who has been pleased with their service, website and ability to meet occasionally with an adviser face to face. Presently I only own one Fidelity fund, Contra. Other holdings are Dodge & Cox Income and International funds, EM etf - EEMV, and Vangd Total Stock Mkt ...
by johnep
Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity Customers, What Do You Hold at FIDO?
Replies: 43
Views: 4038

Re: Was it a mistake to move into PenFed 5-year CDs a year a

Looking in the rear view mirror is not the way to determine if it was a mistake or not. You have to look at why you invested in these CDs in the first place. If you used sound reasoning and it meets your investment plan it was not a mistake.
by johnep
Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Was it a mistake to move into PenFed 5-year CDs a year ago?
Replies: 55
Views: 4870

Re: Transcendental meditation

Years ago when I was having a lot of job stress and anxiety I took a TM class at a local college. It really helped me a lot. I was suffering from insomnia from my anxiety and TM helped me overcome that. I stopped doing it after my stress subsided a few months later but will still do it occasionally ...
by johnep
Wed Jan 07, 2015 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Transcendental meditation
Replies: 38
Views: 2298

Re: Accepting counter-offer to stay at job

I have done counter offers to good employees several times and actually got one myself in my early days. Rarely does the employee stay with the company for a long period of time. It is flattering to get such an offer but has anything else really changed about why you intended to leave the company. Y...
by johnep
Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Accepting counter-offer to stay at job
Replies: 72
Views: 6629

Re: Words of Wisdom from Jonathan Clements

[quote="VictoriaF] Today's Fresh Air has addressed this problem in 'America's Bitter Pill' Makes Case For Why Health Care Law 'Won't Work' . From the program: While reporting on the rollout of the Affordable Care Act, journalist Steven Brill was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition that ...
by johnep
Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Words of Wisdom from Jonathan Clements
Replies: 17
Views: 2802

Re: Do you keep all your eggs in one basket?

Although your money is probably safe at Vanguard, you still may find it worthwhile to keep some of your money at a different firm. I have split my investments between Vanguard and Fidelity. There are advantages to each. Fidelity has a much better website and provides some services not matched by Van...
by johnep
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:49 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you keep all your eggs in one basket?
Replies: 31
Views: 3338

Re: Asset Allocation within the fixed portion for retired pe

I am age 70 and retired. My current AA is: 35% equity, 36% bond funds, 24% SV/CD and 5% cash/MM. Current bond allocation is: HY corp (VWEAX) 19%, Inv Gr Corp (VFIDX) 18%, diversified bond (DODIX) 19%, munis (VWITX, VWAHX) 16%, ST corp (VFSTX) 12%, and TIPS 6%. I have had these positions since retire...
by johnep
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:35 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation within the fixed portion for retired person
Replies: 8
Views: 1024

Re: Do you keep manuals/packaging for products you buy?

I keep manuals in a large folder. They tend to accumulate but come in handy when issues arise. However, many of these products now have manuals online which diminishes the need to keep in paper. I still prefer reading a paper manual when troubleshooting, old school I guess. I do not keep packaging b...
by johnep
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you keep manuals/packaging for products you buy?
Replies: 34
Views: 2053

Re: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?

Thanks for doing poll. It would be good to break this out by age groups, especially retired folks and those age 65 and greater. Many of our returns will be less due to heavier FI weighting.
by johnep
Mon Jan 05, 2015 8:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Annual POLL] What was your 2014 return?
Replies: 144
Views: 14197

Re: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION

2302.02
by johnep
Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2015 BOGLEHEAD CONTEST REGISTRATION
Replies: 556
Views: 19746

Re: Cancelled flight - Mechanical issues

I do not know what the current requirement or practice is, but I worked an airline ticket counter in the 60s. We would re-route people on another airline if necessary. That would usually be if we could not get them to their destination on our airline on the same day. Many years later after I left th...
by johnep
Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cancelled flight - Mechanical issues
Replies: 12
Views: 2499

Re: Vanguard's best fund: Healthcare?

It is a great fund and I owned it for many years. I sold it when I decided to stop making sector bets. In essence, it is a bet of the health care sector.
by johnep
Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:06 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's best fund: Healthcare?
Replies: 60
Views: 7029

Re: Stable value vs Bond funds

I am in a similar position. My SV fund returned 1.88% and it is about 12% of my portfolio (I have mine in NC 401k). Using rear view mirror it is easy to say what would have been best last year. Not so easy for this year. I view my SV as a hedge for the eventual rise in interest rates although no one...
by johnep
Sat Jan 03, 2015 7:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stable value vs Bond funds
Replies: 6
Views: 677

Re: Managing Household Records

Our attorney at work always said that we should keep our business records as long as the law required, but not one day longer. Sounds like good advice for personal records too.
by johnep
Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing Household Records
Replies: 12
Views: 1391

Re: take pension with survivor benefits or not

I recommend taking the survivor benefit. I have a govt pension and had the option of no survivor benefit, 50% benefit or 100% benefit. 50% reduced my pension 9% and the 100% reduced pension 18%. I chose 50% because that would allow my wife to live comfortably given SS and investments. Your full surv...
by johnep
Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: take pension with survivor benefits or not
Replies: 40
Views: 3000

Re: Do you usually order beverage at restaurants?

I usually order ice water with lemon and my DW orders half and half tea. I cannot drink sodas, alcohol or iced tea due to acid reflux, so I am not just being cheap but that is a side benefit.
by johnep
Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you usually order (not-free) beverage at restaurants?
Replies: 89
Views: 7638

Re: Jason Zweig: Lessons learned from the year of surprise

I love the article's quote of an army general regarding a meteorologist's informing him of flawed weather forecast data :
“The Commanding General is well aware that the forecasts are no good. However, he needs them for planning purposes.”
by johnep
Wed Dec 31, 2014 8:52 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jason Zweig: Lessons learned from the year of surprise
Replies: 18
Views: 3512

Re: Do you read online reviews?

I use online reviews but find they are generally more helpful for products than local services. I use Angieslist and others. However, I find many good contractors do not use Angieslist or similar. My son is a remodeling contractor and feels there are more negatives than positives from his perspectiv...
by johnep
Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you read online reviews?
Replies: 26
Views: 1659

Re: How Much Do You Sacrifice?

Some people on this forum go over the top in frugality. You should not sacrifice every pleasure in life for retirement. As you stated, find a balance of saving and enjoying life today. It sounds like you need to loosen up some and enjoy life more today. Some people will not live long enough to enjoy...
by johnep
Tue Dec 30, 2014 8:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much Do You Sacrifice?
Replies: 82
Views: 6604

Re: How have elderly parents affected your retirement?

At their age there is a high probability that one or both of them will eventually need more extensive care than an assisted living facility can provide. Nursing homes are typically more expensive. A lot of facilities have multiple levels of care which would allow nursing home care for one and assist...
by johnep
Tue Dec 30, 2014 7:32 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How have elderly parents affected your retirement?
Replies: 13
Views: 1532

Re: Home Ownership in Retirement

You should consider all taxes in both locations. States can vary a lot in total taxes which include income tax, sales tax, property tax and possibly others. Also, states vary in taxation of social security and other retirement income. Some states give seniors special consideration and may exclude ta...
by johnep
Sun Dec 28, 2014 8:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Ownership in Retirement
Replies: 18
Views: 3115
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