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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: 22
Views: 2362

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: 50
Views: 4621

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: 4517

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: 785

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: 2497

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: 977

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: 8231

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: 1816

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: 14
Views: 1518

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: 823

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: 2402

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: 4288

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: 2446

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: 9529

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: 821

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: 4017

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: 4853

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: 2293

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: 6618

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: 2799

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: 3327

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: 1016

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: 2046

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: 14056

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: 19721

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: 2498

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: 7009

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: 676

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: 1384

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: 2986

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: 7629

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: 6586

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: 1530

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: 3110

Re: Turnover Ratio: Do fund manager follow buy-hold philosop

There are definite costs associated with turnover. These include transaction costs, spread costs (difference between buy and sell price), and change in stock price due to large buys and sells which negatively affect stock price (stock prices increase for buys and decrease for sells). Also, high turn...
by johnep
Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:29 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Turnover Ratio: Do fund manager follow buy-hold philosophy??
Replies: 11
Views: 1942

Re: POLL: How do you make important investment decisions?

My investment decisions are based upon the reading and researching I have done of many sources, including authors like Bernstein, Ferri, Swedroe, etc. The 2 most influential have been this forum and Morningstar. I assumed both of these would be included in the media brands?
by johnep
Sun Dec 28, 2014 7:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: How do you make important investment decisions?
Replies: 27
Views: 2805

Re: Feeling a bit lost...should we buy a house?

IMO, it is a bad idea to buy a house under the scenario you described. Buying a house that you may never live in does not make sense. Continue to save and invest your money. If and when you decide to return to your home country, you can use a portion of your savings and assets to pay cash for a home...
by johnep
Fri Dec 26, 2014 6:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feeling a bit lost...should we buy a house?
Replies: 17
Views: 2893

Re: My Christmas Message To You -- 70 Years Ago.

Thank you Taylor for your bravery and defense of our country and our freedom. I have the greatest respect for you and every other American soldier who has fought for our country.
by johnep
Thu Dec 25, 2014 4:44 pm
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: My Christmas Message To You -- 70 Years Ago.
Replies: 58
Views: 5089

Re: Considering a pay cut for a career change

I would suggest you take a longer term view of both job opportunities. What is your long term potential in the financial job? My guess, since you are inexperienced in finance, that it will be good as you gain more experience, and may eventually surpass the software developer job in pay and job level...
by johnep
Thu Dec 25, 2014 7:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Considering a pay cut for a career change
Replies: 19
Views: 2980

Re: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?

$350 per person for 2 seniors. My wife eats out a lot. I tend to eat more at home due to diet for acid reflux. We are fine with this but obviously is an area we could reduce if ever needed to.
by johnep
Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: What are your monthly food expenses?
Replies: 67
Views: 4872

Re: How to tackle a crack on the windshield

Windshield replacement is considered non-collision and subject to $100 deductible (collision is $500 deductible) in my State Farm policy. I have replaced 3 windshields in last 6 years. You need to check your policy to determine what coverage you have as this apparently varies based upon policy.
by johnep
Tue Dec 23, 2014 7:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tackle a crack on the windshield
Replies: 28
Views: 2308

Re: How much personal umbrella insurance should you get?

I have had $2M umbrella policy for several years. This year I increased it to $3M. This may be way more than I need but the extra $1M only cost $95 per year so it is cheap relative to the coverage. I got the impression from talking with insurance agent that few people insure beyond $1M, at least at ...
by johnep
Thu Dec 18, 2014 7:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much personal umbrella insurance should you get?
Replies: 3
Views: 724

Re: Thanking of mid career shift

I got my BS in Accounting degree at age 33. I was already well established in IT, with 11 years of experience and was a senior analyst. All of the top accounting firms were interested in me because I had a 3.9 GPA but they all wanted me as an entry level auditor which paid a lot less than I was maki...
by johnep
Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thanking of mid career shift
Replies: 6
Views: 1525

Re: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward

Most people in their early career are enthusiastic and excited about learning, growing their skills and moving up the career ladder. Many in their 40s and 50s have plateaued in their career and also are more discerning about the politics and BS that occurs in organizations. They often become cynical...
by johnep
Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WHY is retirement enjoyable / something to look forward to?
Replies: 237
Views: 20011

Re: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival =

So to me, the problem is not the odds of dying at any particular age, but the odds of having a long drawn out decline and lingering death. What are the odds of that? Pretty high, I'd say. I think that's what most of us are afraid of, but I don't think there's any way to insure against that financia...
by johnep
Wed Dec 17, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Odds of portfolio survival = 90%; odds of my survival = 0.1%
Replies: 171
Views: 11595

Re: How much is reasonable to spend on vacation?

Vacations and leisure time activities are important for pleasure and quality of life. Taking a nice vacation each year and perhaps a few weekend trips is highly recommended. The question is do you want to enjoy life commensurate with your budget and finances or do you want to defer vacations and oth...
by johnep
Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much is reasonable to spend on vacation?
Replies: 30
Views: 2940

Re: Advice needed re Financial Planner?

Thanks for the help everyone. Much appreciated. One poster asked their ages... they are in their mid-40's. I also spoke with my friend and he mentioned he had a question. What is the formula for him to figure out exactly how much cash he'd have if he decided to sell at $11mm? He estimated $7.5mm, b...
by johnep
Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed re Financial Planner?
Replies: 12
Views: 1523
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