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Re: High Yield Bonds as an Annuity?

IMO bonds are used primarily for capital preservation and only secondarily for income. Older people increase their fixed income and reduce their equities to preserve their capital which is especially important in the decumulation phase which most retirees are in. HY bonds are a hybrid investment, pa...
by johnep
Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Bonds as an Annuity?
Replies: 23
Views: 1668

Re: Financial plan for pensioned in-laws

You have the potential of harming your relationship with your in-laws if your financial advice produces negative results or results they perceive as negative. Therefore, I suggest you consider professional advice for this couple. This should be someone who can provide holistic financial planning adv...
by johnep
Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial plan for pensioned in-laws
Replies: 19
Views: 1203

Re: My husband is receiving $2.31M for selling his company.

You should definitely talk to a good tax accountant. I'm assuming there are also lawyers involved in the sale. Maybe one of them could refer somebody? As for having the money paid into an LLC, were you advised to do that or was it just a general question? I can't think of any advantages to doing th...
by johnep
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My husband is receiving $2.31M for selling his company. What
Replies: 15
Views: 3414

Re: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?

So, bottom line, which stores should I visit (I'm in Central, NC - RTP / Raleigh area), any stores to avoid, is my price expectation reasonable, etc? Have you checked in at Furniture Land South in Jamestown (between Highpoint and Greensboro)? Here's their URL http://www.furniturelandsouth.com/ . Th...
by johnep
Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reading room chair - what to pay and where to purchase?
Replies: 29
Views: 2381

Re: Retired: When to move?

After doing Roth conversions, if that makes sense given your federal tax situation. Michigan (4.35%, 6.85% in Detroit) had a $90,000 exemption for taxpayers over 59.5, but in 2012 that was reduced to $40,000 and the age requirement raised to 67 for persons born after 1952. North Carolina (7.75%) un...
by johnep
Sun Mar 30, 2014 7:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired: When to move?
Replies: 43
Views: 3986

Re: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?

We did a total kitchen remodel 2 years ago. Replaced tile with 3/4" hardwood. It looks really great. I had the same concern as you about leaks and wanted a high grade of tile but my wife wanted hardwood. She has more votes than me.
by johnep
Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?
Replies: 57
Views: 3114

Re: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathro

I do not have first hand knowledge on using Lowe's for bathroom remodels, but generally speaking both Lowe's and Home Depot use cheaper subcontractors, and as the saying goes "you get what you pay for". I would be concerned about using a cheaper sub for a bathroom remodel. A lot of bad thi...
by johnep
Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes Install Services- anyone use them for a new bathroom?
Replies: 22
Views: 1791

Re: How much water do you drink every day?

About 1.5L of bottled water a day. Interestingly, some of the premium bottled waters have a fair amount of acid in them which I try to avoid. The only things I drink are coffee, water and a little milk. This is out of necessity due to GERD issues.
by johnep
Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much water do you drink every day?
Replies: 70
Views: 2849

Re: Sustainable wage increases over the long term?

I am no expert on this topic but it seems to me that globalization has had a big impact on wages, especially in the US. Many jobs have moved offshore resulting in fewer jobs and more workers competing for jobs. Some argue that these are lower skilled jobs and that may be true to some extent but we h...
by johnep
Wed Mar 26, 2014 9:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sustainable wage increases over the long term?
Replies: 20
Views: 1171

Re: BBQ Road Trip

I have lived in NC for 50 years. I am not a big BBQ person but can give you a little insight. Lexington Barbeque in Lexington on Business I-85 is highly acclaimed. I have been traveling with friends and business associates numerous times through that area and they would insist on stopping there. I h...
by johnep
Tue Mar 25, 2014 7:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BBQ Road Trip
Replies: 50
Views: 2939

Re: Do you work part time in retirement?

I thought about some form of consulting or employment but then I realized I had been there and done that. No regrets after 3 plus years of retirement.
by johnep
Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you work part time in retirement?
Replies: 59
Views: 3904

Re: Help me settle a debate -- Risk in Retirement

My pension and our combined SS more than covers our annual expenses. I do not foresee need of touching our portfolio (which is considerably less than yours) unless inflation seriously reduces my non-COLA guaranteed pension which it may do if we live another 15 years or so. Initially, I took the posi...
by johnep
Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:55 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me settle a debate -- Risk in Retirement
Replies: 61
Views: 4220

Re: State Farm or Allstate

Many years ago I had Allstate insurance and a State Farm agent contacted me and showed how he could save me a sizable amount of money. I switched to State Farm and have been with them for at least 30 years. I have auto, home and umbrella with them. I have dealt with the same lady there all these yea...
by johnep
Sat Mar 22, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State Farm or Allstate
Replies: 26
Views: 1812

Re: Meeting with Fidelity [Financial Advisor]

advising me. My SIL inherited a sizable amount of money from his father which was distributed among several brokerage companies. He consolidated that with Fidelity and uses an adviser to invest for him at cost of 0.9% per year. Did the adviser make sure that he had a thorough understanding of the c...
by johnep
Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Meeting with Fidelity [Financial Advisor]
Replies: 42
Views: 3874

Re: POLL: Do you have a financial advisor?

The results are not surprising. After all, this is a premoninantly DIY forum which skews the results as opposed to a broader audience.
by johnep
Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: Do you have a financial advisor?
Replies: 37
Views: 1983

Re: Meeting with Fidelity [Financial Advisor]

I think what you are doing is very reasonable. You seem to want to understand what services Fidelity can offer. IMO, knowledge is a good thing. Based on prior posts of yours, I am sure you will not be easily swayed into anything unwise. I have had a brokerage account with Fidelity for many years alo...
by johnep
Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Meeting with Fidelity [Financial Advisor]
Replies: 42
Views: 3874

Re: Lump sum pension pay out. Take it or not ?

Here is what I found regarding public pensions in the state of Florida "Article I, Section 10 of the Florida Constitution provides that no law impairing the obligation of contracts shall be passed. This constitutional provision has been interpreted by the Courts to protect vested pension benef...
by johnep
Thu Mar 20, 2014 7:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lump sum pension pay out. Take it or not ?
Replies: 16
Views: 1603

Re: Should I keep my American Funds?

I am not recommending that people rush to a financial advisor and buy American Funds. But if you still own them from a past investing life, depending on what funds you have, they might be worth hanging on to. If you are absolutely clueless and have to go to an advisor, you could do a whole lot wors...
by johnep
Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I keep my American Funds?
Replies: 19
Views: 1325

Re: Lump sum pension pay out. Take it or not ?

One consideration for your decision is what is Dade County's responsibility in this matter. Being owned by Dade County may mean that Dade is responsible to make good on pensions and other benefit promises to employees of the hospital. I highly recommend that you get clarification of that from the ho...
by johnep
Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lump sum pension pay out. Take it or not ?
Replies: 16
Views: 1603

Re: What "annual" retirement income are you hoping to achiev

I included SS and pension income (pre tax) but excluded RMDs which will hopefully be reinvested in taxable accounts
by johnep
Mon Mar 17, 2014 11:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What "annual" retirement income are you hoping to achieve?
Replies: 70
Views: 4160

Re: 3 Big Questions to Ask an Adviser

Great advice! The only thing I would quibble with which is admittedly a personal preference would be to have an adviser you could meet with in person as needed. I know the Internet enables remote financial services and there are some good affordable options from them. However, something as important...
by johnep
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3 Big Questions to Ask an Adviser
Replies: 34
Views: 2647

Re: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?

I have undercabinet LEDs in kitchen and recently replaced recessed lights in den and bedroom closets lights with LED. I could not cover the recessed lights in attic with insulation due to fire hazard. Alternative would be to enclose them or to go with LEDs which do not generate much heat. LEDs were ...
by johnep
Sat Mar 15, 2014 9:31 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED lights currently worth it personal financewise?
Replies: 55
Views: 2487

Re: Who cares about inflation in retirement?

Despite current projections, inflation may increase substantially at some point. In 1970s and early 80s US had very high inflation. One year was greater than 14%. See link for historic data: http://www.inflation.eu/inflation-rates/united-states/historic-inflation/cpi-inflation-united-states.aspx Tha...
by johnep
Sat Mar 15, 2014 6:37 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who cares about inflation in retirement?
Replies: 55
Views: 3762

Re: "The Average Investor Should Use a Financial Adviser"

A couple of years ago I transferred more than $100k to Vanguard which entitled me to a free financial plan. I was sorely disappointed with the plan they did. It looked like a cookie cutter plan generated by a computer which it probably was. I had done a couple of financial plans with Fidelity which ...
by johnep
Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Average Investor Should Use a Financial Adviser"
Replies: 51
Views: 6980

Re: Selling my house to friends

Personally, I do not like to do business with friends or relatives because if it goes badly for whatever reason then you could end up losing a friend or have a rift in the family. I have spent 35+ years in the mortgage and loan servicing world and If I were to sell my home to a friend like you are ...
by johnep
Fri Mar 14, 2014 6:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Selling my house to friends
Replies: 12
Views: 1591

Re: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club

We have been members of all 3 at one time or another. We have been at Costcos for quite some time and think they are the best. I have never seen pushy sales people except in their hearing aid dept but you have to go there to encounter them.
by johnep
Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:44 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Costco vs BJs vs Sams Club
Replies: 53
Views: 4010

Re: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle

I have some Anderson windows and also 2 sliding doors that replaced older products. I am very pleased with them. I have not ever priced Marvin although they have a great reputation too. I would think there are many dealers of Anderson in your area. Can you provide specs to dealers and get quotes fro...
by johnep
Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Marvin vs. Andersen Windows: The Eternal Struggle
Replies: 27
Views: 1784

Re: non-compete

Is there severance money? They've attached it to my comp plan for future commissions. My attorney is a bit of a stickler and in the past they say "if you don't sign your comp plans, you don't get paid commissions this month". This year is different though, as this is the first time they'v...
by johnep
Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:54 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]
Replies: 35
Views: 1563

Re: Alternatives to paying full real estate commissions?

The first house i bought I found by word of mouth. It was not listed on market. I had been looking for a while and had a good idea of home values and got a great deal. When I sold it I did FSBO and sold it through a realtor to her client, and paid a 3% commission. I have been in the market a couple ...
by johnep
Wed Mar 12, 2014 7:35 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Alternatives to paying full real estate commissions?
Replies: 31
Views: 2443

Re: Muni bonds and risk

Defaults and loss of principal in munis seems to be rare, based upon many articles I have read. It seems everytime there is a potential for a default, it is very well publicized which creates the impression there are far more defaults than there really are. I feel very comfortable with Vanguard muni...
by johnep
Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Muni bonds and risk
Replies: 15
Views: 1492

Re: New Printer/Scanner

I have a Canon MX870 multi function printer. I have had it 3 years and it works really well. I do a fair amount of printing and it has been very reliable. My guess is that other brands have similar products. What I really like about Canon is their support. When I call I get someone who speaks good E...
by johnep
Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Printer/Scanner
Replies: 13
Views: 1389

Re: Customer service - Vanguard vs Fidelity

Hayden wrote:I have accounts at both. My experience is that customer service is far better at Fidelity.


+1. Also, Fidelity offers more services to me than Vanguard.
by johnep
Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Customer service - Vanguard vs Fidelity
Replies: 80
Views: 6598

Re: HUGE retirement decision.

I had the same options when I retired from local govt. I chose option 2, giving my DW (she had no pension, only SS) half of my pension if I die first. This reduced my pension about 9%. 100% survivor option was 18% reduction. We concluded SS, half the pension and savings were more than adequate for h...
by johnep
Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HUGE retirement decision.
Replies: 71
Views: 6002

Re: Bonds - What other fund?

Corporate bonds, ST/IT/LT, are conspicously absent from your list.
by johnep
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds - What other fund?
Replies: 20
Views: 1459

Re: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return

10% return does not sound like nearly enough to provide the 100% investment. Your principal is only guaranteed if the restaurant is successful. I do not have the percentage but I know that many restaurants fail within the first couple of years. There are many details to sort out if you were to pursu...
by johnep
Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risky investment with a "guaranteed" principal return
Replies: 55
Views: 3358

Re: Retirees: About your retirement

My goal was to have the means to live comfortably in retirement, having the ability to travel and do other leisurely things. However, I am not wired to enjoy a life of leisure all the time. Therefore, now that I am retired, I do volunteer work for causes that I believe in about 3 days a week. It pro...
by johnep
Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:38 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: About your retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 5496

Re: Risk in Mailing Check

If you do mail a check, do not put it in your mailbox for pickup by mailman. Thieves often steal outgoing mail from boxes. What they are looking for are checks. They can then produce checks with your account number and write them at will. Instead of putting check in your mailbox, take your outgoing ...
by johnep
Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Risk in Mailing Check
Replies: 18
Views: 1602

Re: T-Mobile's response to a weak signal

I recently bought a Samsung Galaxy from Walmart and use their Walmart Mobile service (T-Mobile network). So far service has been good, but I live in a large metro area. I have noticed much weaker signal when i have ventured into more rural areas.
by johnep
Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-Mobile's response to a weak signal
Replies: 16
Views: 1649

Re: Increasing Insurance Deductibles

I believe those with a low deductible need to also consider the number of small claims they have. If you have several small claims against your insurance, this will increase your insurance. I am not sure when that occurs, but I believe as few as 2 within a 3 year period might trigger increased rates...
by johnep
Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Increasing Insurance Deductibles
Replies: 6
Views: 299

Re: Portfolio eval./ decision on pension vs 403b, moving

Normally i would recommend the pension system but considering the current funding level of SC pension (latest number I see is 2011 @ 66.5%), I would choose the 403b assuming you have decent investment choices there. It sounds like the pension system will be challenged to achieve an 8% average retur...
by johnep
Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio eval./ decision on pension vs 403b, moving
Replies: 14
Views: 620

Re: Meeting with Fidelity [Financial Advisor]

I have accounts with Vanguard and Fidelity. I can meet face to face with Fidelity whenever I want. I am not a flagship customer with Vanguard, but even if I were, I do not believe I could meet with them face to face. I find it helpful to meet in person somtimes and I believe this is an advantage for...
by johnep
Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Meeting with Fidelity [Financial Advisor]
Replies: 42
Views: 3874

Re: Cross Country trip this summer. Any advise?

My dh and I are planning a cross country driving trip this July. We will be using our car. Any tips and or advise from someone who has done this? Thanks for any and all tips. My wife and I have done cross country trips several times. You should enjoy it. Plan your trip and do research to determine ...
by johnep
Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross Country trip this summer. Any advise?
Replies: 31
Views: 1211

Re: Portfolio eval./ decision on pension vs 403b, moving

Normally i would recommend the pension system but considering the current funding level of SC pension (latest number I see is 2011 @ 66.5%), I would choose the 403b assuming you have decent investment choices there. It sounds like the pension system will be challenged to achieve an 8% average return...
by johnep
Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio eval./ decision on pension vs 403b, moving
Replies: 14
Views: 620

Re: Worth fighting ticket to avoid points, higher insurance?

My son hired an attorney to remove some traffic violations from his record which were preventing his company from insuring him to drive. I was amazed at how well the attorney did. He removed records in 3 counties and DMV. It cost my son $500 and he got $150 back from one county as rebate for removin...
by johnep
Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Worth fighting ticket to avoid points, higher insurance?
Replies: 46
Views: 2704

Re: Questions for dads financial adviser

Questions for dads financial adviser Ask for the written answers to the following. 1) Do you have a fiduciary responsibility to do what is in my best interests? 2) Please provide an understandable written explanation that shows how you and your company are compensated. This one is probably better j...
by johnep
Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Questions for dads financial adviser
Replies: 14
Views: 1049

Re: Can you identify the view in this painting?

The view across Swiftcurrent lake in Many Glaicer: https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-lSmL6_hzo2M/UgKI5Xm6B-I/AAAAAAAAFvA/hLZs_EPQE58/s800/IMG_1205.JPG Looking back and down to Lake Louise: https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-VH7lQg5e8GM/UgKzFJMS0_I/AAAAAAAAHp4/gGCJNO-qhyA/s800/IMG_2171.JPG Both pho...
by johnep
Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you identify the view in this painting?
Replies: 8
Views: 1348

Re: Help with frustrating investment issue (family involved)

Get out now. Also, I do not know if this is possible, but if this investment was not properly explained to you, you may have recourse against the agent and company. Not sure if you would want to pursue that but people have been successful in getting their money back when that happens. I am sure ther...
by johnep
Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:00 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with frustrating investment issue (family involved)
Replies: 26
Views: 2150

Re: Should I fear Identity theft?

It sounds like the mail was delayed by weather. I live in NC. We had 2 bad weather days and a shipment from UPS to me was delayed 6 business days. Unusual time. I would not worry just yet.

However, everyone should be concerned about identity theft and take appropriate precautions to prevent it.
by johnep
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:53 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I fear Identity theft?
Replies: 9
Views: 1008

Re: How much is a fair hourly fee?

$200 to $250 per hour is probably reasonable, but a lot depends on what you get for your money. Is it an investment plan based upon my unique situation for X hours of work or is it just a sitdown and discussion of my plan and is off the cuff advice? I suspect the quality of what you get and the hour...
by johnep
Mon Mar 03, 2014 9:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much is a fair hourly fee?
Replies: 86
Views: 4842

Re: Anyone ever buy Masters tickets in Augusta?

Tournament round tickets start somewhere around $1,000 per person. Depending upon demand, these prices could soften as you get closer to the event. There are a number of ticket brokers who sell Master's tickets. You might want to contact some of them to see what is feasible. When driving into the c...
by johnep
Sat Mar 01, 2014 12:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone ever buy Masters tickets in Augusta?
Replies: 17
Views: 1525
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