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by kramer
Thu May 14, 2015 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retiring in your 40's
Replies: 21
Views: 2801

Re: Retiring in your 40's

I retired 8 years ago when I was 41, but I am a single guy. Assuming that you are somewhat dissatisfied with your career at this point, one thing I would really think about is how to avoid burnout at work. This can really sneak up on you, even in a career you used to love. One of lthenderson's point...
by kramer
Mon May 11, 2015 9:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International - Who really is at 40%
Replies: 93
Views: 6673

Re: International - Who really is at 40%

I am 63% equities. I only have 58% of that in foreign. I have maintained a pretty similar allocation ever since I started investing about 15 years ago.
by kramer
Sun May 03, 2015 11:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will you buy self-driving car?
Replies: 235
Views: 9281

Re: Will you buy self-driving car?

I would not buy a self-driving car but I definitely look forward to using Uber-like services for self-driving cars and giving up vehicle ownership. It means I won't need parking at my residence for a car. It means downtown areas especially will need far less parking, creating the ability to build-in...
by kramer
Fri May 01, 2015 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you see the Mayweather fight for less than $99?
Replies: 39
Views: 3540

Re: Can you see the Mayweather fight for less than $99?

Yes, for US military members overseas supporting our great country, the fight is free! But, it's on at 0300 of course on AFN (Armed Forces Network)..but the promoters are allowing military members overseas to watch it for free! Yes, many of my friends here in the Philippines are retired military an...
by kramer
Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Q re pay Cap Gains Tax at zero income level?
Replies: 12
Views: 543

Re: Q re pay Cap Gains Tax at zero income level?

In addition to considering taking capital gains to the top of the 15% bracket, you could consider using part of that space for converting a traditional IRA to a ROTH. I am early retired like you and most of my income is qualified dividends, along with a bit of interest and unqualified dividends. Eac...
by kramer
Tue Apr 28, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting the stink out of running clothes
Replies: 34
Views: 2244

Re: Getting the stink out of running clothes

I think it is important to dry the clothes out after a workout by hanging them up. Have you been doing that? I have not had the stinky problem, I use synthetic type running shirts, not expensive but more like the kind you buy at Walmart, and they don't smell even after many, many uses. They get soak...
by kramer
Mon Apr 27, 2015 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use phone?
Replies: 54
Views: 3581

Re: Traveling light up to 2 weeks - ditch the laptop, use ph

I have trouble doing any kind of serious travel research or ticket purchases on a phone screen. On my last 2 week trip, I took a smart phone and a tablet (8.5 inches, 13 ounces). For most of the trip, including in my hotel room, I used my phone for 3G/4G tethering my tablet to the internet and it wo...
by kramer
Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best touristy places to live in the world?
Replies: 36
Views: 4597

Re: Best touristy places to live in the world?

I really enjoyed living in Chiang Mai, Thailand for a year. Because it is not a large city (maybe 500,000), its economy is dominated by tourism.

I visited there again a few months ago and had forgotten just how good the food was, both local food and international food.
by kramer
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling cash in Vietnam
Replies: 13
Views: 1172

Re: Handling cash in Vietnam

Find a bank with a surcharge free ATM policy. Also, have her call the bank and let them know that she'll be out of country. Otherwise, she may find herself with a cancelled card and no access to money. I learned the hard way when I was deployed to Iraq. She should probably have a second backup card...
by kramer
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?
Replies: 22
Views: 1099

Re: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?

Good answers here. In several decades of wearing daily use soft contact lenses (removed each evening), I have never needed a replacement pair when I was away from home and out for the day. However, it is not a bad idea to have a cheap pair of glasses when out (like in the car). Zenni is a great sugg...
by kramer
Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: long term capital gain tax vs. roth conversions
Replies: 41
Views: 2427

Re: long term capital gain tax vs. roth conversions

Another small note is that you need to pay some taxes in order to take full advantage of your foreign tax credit.
by kramer
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you buy a house without AC?
Replies: 60
Views: 4771

Re: Would you buy 1.5 M house without AC?

I would be a lot more concerned about not having central heating. It's actually much more important in that climate than A/C.
by kramer
Thu Apr 16, 2015 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend not filed taxes for years but owes no money
Replies: 15
Views: 1694

Re: Friend not filed taxes for years but owes no money

Thanks for all the feedback. It sounds like he is probably OK and should start filing for tax year 2015 due to receiving social security (although he may not get his first check until January, 2016). And so there is no need to go back and file old returns and possibly open up a can of worms. He meet...
by kramer
Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend not filed taxes for years but owes no money
Replies: 15
Views: 1694

Friend not filed taxes for years but owes no money

I have a good friend who lives off a US military pension of about $26,000 per year. He will start taking social security later this year at age 62. He has not filed income taxes for years. The amount taken out of his pension is just slightly more than he owes each year. So he is losing out on a tiny...
by kramer
Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:36 am
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Favorite Boglehead Avatar?
Replies: 89
Views: 5343

Re: Favorite Boglehead Avatar?

Cosmo wrote:This thread is over 1 page long and no one still did not choose my avatar. I am in utter disbelief.

-The real Cosmo Kramer
Are you sure about that?? :happy I am offering the Real Kramer Tour here in the Philippines . . .
by kramer
Sun Apr 12, 2015 12:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: protecting passport from damage
Replies: 23
Views: 1669

Re: protecting passport from damage

Just so it is clear, the Passport card is not valid for any international air travel. It is OK for land and sea-based travel to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. Even in the land/sea case, I wouldn't trust it for more than short trips to any particular country. I did get one, however, just ...
by kramer
Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Probability question for math wizzes
Replies: 7
Views: 1380

Re: Probability question for math wizzes

Also, take a look into Dempster-Shafer Theory. http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Expert_Systems/Dempster-Shafer_Theory The idea is that not only are you dealing with probabilities, you are dealing with uncertainty about what the probabilities are in the first place (e.g., in situations more complicated t...
by kramer
Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renting in Retirement - Considerations?
Replies: 53
Views: 4290

Re: Renting in Retirement - Considerations?

I retired 8 years ago and I have never owned a place in my entire life and have no regrets. Part of it is a personality issue, I dislike working around the house doing improvements or maintenance and consider it a burden rather than something enjoyable. Everyone is different. Also, one of my goals f...
by kramer
Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?
Replies: 52
Views: 7164

Re: Bernanke's Blog: why are interest rates so low?

What a great country this is! This reminds me of the photo of the new US ambassador to China. He was at the airport, getting ready to fly to China. He was getting a coffee at Starbucks and he had a piece of luggage with him. The photo made huge news in China because their officials wouldn't be getti...
by kramer
Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?
Replies: 47
Views: 3434

Re: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?

Cash only here in the Philippines, so I only use a credit card for purchasing international plane tickets or using Agoda to prepay an international hotel reservation. When in the USA, I use credit cards for most large purchases (anything over $30).
by kramer
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy
Replies: 24
Views: 2369

Re: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy

I only took a few minutes on this topic to come up with a life expectancy (explained below) and mostly use that number for planning purposes . By the time I am nearing that age, much of my money will be annuitized (mostly via Social Security, definitely waiting to age 70 to mitigate longevity risk) ...
by kramer
Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oneplus One phone- experience?
Replies: 20
Views: 2128

Re: Oneplus One phone- experience?

The OnePlus One is bigger and heavier (5.71 oz) than the Samsung S3 (4.69 oz). So make sure you are OK with that. The OnePlus One is out of my range with regards to weight, but everyone has different preferences.
by kramer
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial art
Replies: 20
Views: 1090

Re: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial ar

Since you're looking for practical self-defense, a traditional martial art may not be your best bet, depending on the teacher. It can be like signing up for ballet when what you want is to learn how to dance with your girlfriend: learning a wide range of movements compiled over centuries and practi...
by kramer
Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aging Populations and Stock/Bond Market Returns
Replies: 31
Views: 3698

Re: Aging Populations and Stock/Bond Market Returns

What is unique about this point in history is that the working age population is decreasing rapidly AND people are living much longer. There has been working age population devastation before, like wars and plagues and even the 1918 flu epidemic, but it was never accompanied by a permanently lowered...
by kramer
Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aging Populations and Stock/Bond Market Returns
Replies: 31
Views: 3698

Re: Aging Populations and Stock/Bond Market Returns

3. China and Brazil must be mixed up in that second graph. I think it is correct but confusing. Each country is plotted against its own working age population in the year 1950. So, for instance, China now has a working age population about 3.0 times as large as the Chinese working age population in...
by kramer
Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat Roth IRA Rollover
Replies: 7
Views: 620

Re: Expat Roth IRA Rollover

Someone will give you a good reference, but since about 2006 or 2007 there is something called the stacking rule. Basically, income outside of the FEIE exemption is taxed as if you earned your foreign earnings in the USA. As an example, say they earned $70,000 overseas, well under the FEIE exemption...
by kramer
Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 58
Views: 7691

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

That's the tricky part in this whole exercise. Because we have more than $20k in foreign dividends, the fine print for form 1116 says to adjust gross foreign income to account for the preferential tax treatment of qualified dividend income (QDI). Doing so according to IRS rules dramatically reduces...
by kramer
Tue Feb 24, 2015 4:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit
Replies: 58
Views: 7691

Re: Foreign Stocks in Taxable - Gotcha w/ foreign tax credit

In most years, as someone who derives most of their taxable income from qualified dividends and capital gains, I can't use most of my FTC because I am well over the $300/$600 foreign tax paid and my US income tax rate is normally at zero or near zero. Since the average foreign tax rate on dividends ...
by kramer
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pick-Pockets
Replies: 63
Views: 5673

Re: Pick-Pockets

Since I moved out of the USA last decade, I don't ever carry a wallet. I just have cash and driver's license, and sometimes an ATM/credit card in my front pockets. Or side pockets when I am wearing shorts. For protecting your stuff when you are traveling, the "secret pocket" idea, somewher...
by kramer
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: .
Replies: 37
Views: 3867

Re: US citizen vs green card

wxz76 wrote:Could be deported if convicted of a crime
I live abroad and try hard not to break any laws. But this problem has certainly crossed my mind and it is a non-theoretical risk. And it does not even take a conviction. Non-deportability (is that a word?) is a real benefit to being a citizen.
by kramer
Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: turbotax: foreign bank interest ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1189

Re: turbotax: foreign bank interest ?

I think form 8938 is for those with large amounts of foreign assets ($50,000 and possibly much more required to file). So I don't think that would apply to an asset level generating only $15 annual interest. I used Turbo Tax Basic for my 2013 taxes and I had a few hundred dollars in foreign interest...
by kramer
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2367

Re: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets

I live overseas. I have left a one page handwritten document in my mom's safe. It just says where my accounts are located (and I-bonds) and I made sure to indicate where most of the money is without including any actual amounts for the big accounts . . . for instance, they can get over 90% of the as...
by kramer
Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half off TurboTax thru Monday
Replies: 37
Views: 4578

Re: Half off TurboTax thru Monday

Yeah, I bought downloadable TurboTax Premier yesterday for $48, including sales taxes. I had received an email from them alerting me to this deal.
by kramer
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 81
Views: 5792

Re: Florida in the summer

It is funny how we all have different preferences. Personally, I ruled out most of Florida as a *winter* destination because it is too cold. For instance, Mel's home in Daytona Beach has 6 months where the average daily low is below 60 degrees (and a couple of months at 50 or below!). If I lived the...
by kramer
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry's New Book On Sale
Replies: 10
Views: 1877

Re: Larry's New Book On Sale

I much prefer the shorter format on newer e-books (and lower price than a full book). The primary reason that the vast majority of books in the past were "book length" was because the economics of the paper book publishing industry demanded it -- not because they really needed to be that l...
by kramer
Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Already having second thoughts about HSA Bank
Replies: 21
Views: 3247

Re: Already having second thoughts about HSA Bank

Might or might not have something to do with OP's problem, but HSA Bank went through some major changes in November-December including a completely new customer website and new debit cards for everyone. Presumably this was a major data migration project in both cases. I had several questions and ha...
by kramer
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We miss Larry Swedroe
Replies: 28
Views: 7609

Re: We miss Larry Swedroe

RunningRad wrote:Count me in as a fan of Larry and his work.

Me, also. And I have (hopefully) helped him by buying his books and recommending to others.
by kramer
Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buy total international and not each country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2378

Re: Why buy total international and not each country?

I am an American retired in the Philippines. I keep about 4% of my portfolio invested in the Philippines country ETF (ishares:EPHE) and that is the only country ETF that I own. So this is about 6% of my equity holdings. This is an overweight of about 20x relative to the country's portion of global s...
by kramer
Mon Dec 29, 2014 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retirement spending covered by SS
Replies: 34
Views: 2570

Re: retirement spending covered by SS

Sidney wrote:I've been retired for over 6 years and SS is still 8 years away. So I will vote zero.
Same here. I have been retired over 7 years and still have over 21 years to go for SS.
by kramer
Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did/do/will foreign banks issue form 1099INT?
Replies: 8
Views: 947

Re: Did/do/will foreign banks issue form 1099INT?

Here in the Philippines, many (and maybe all) banks are requesting all existing customers to formally declare themselves as US Persons or NOT US Persons and to answer a series of questions in writing. If you are a US person, you are required to submit various kinds of additional information, includi...
by kramer
Sun Dec 28, 2014 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you usually order (not-free) beverage at restaurants?
Replies: 89
Views: 7864

Re: Do you usually order beverage at restaurants?

It certainly depends for me and my significant other. I will sometimes order a Coke Zero or a beer, but usually stick with water (and sometimes black coffee). At home I drink almost exclusively water and brewed coffee (black). I tried for a long time to develop a taste for wine but I just don't like...
by kramer
Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15% Capital Gain Rate and 0% Taxable Income
Replies: 39
Views: 2679

Re: 15% Capital Gain Rate and 0% Taxable Income

Don't forget to include all your income in the calculation, like all the taxable dividends, interest, etc. And don't forget the Standard Deduction plus Personal Exemption which adds up to just over $10,000 for a single person. This means your total income can actually be about $47,000 and still have...
by kramer
Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Master degree in Math
Replies: 50
Views: 4877

Re: Master degree in Math

I am not sure of the value of a masters in mathematics where one is not required to have any background in Algebra, Linear Algebra, Real Analysis, and Topology at a minimum. I agree 100%. It took way more math than Calculus i, ii, and iii just to start upper division courses in physics (my undergra...
by kramer
Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign tax credit cap?
Replies: 7
Views: 669

Re: Foreign tax credit cap?

Generally, if you are below the $300/$600 limit there is a free lunch in that you can always take the credit against your income tax bill. Generally, over those limits, you can only deduct it all if you are paying the same percentage tax or higher on your US income as you did on your foreign dividen...
by kramer
Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS looking for money, my CPA just died….
Replies: 10
Views: 3277

Re: IRS looking for money, my CPA just died….

Also, you should be able to contact whoever takes over the CPA's accounts or even rummage through his records yourself for your file. My dad sold his tax and accounting business for health reasons about 6 months before he died. The new accountant was very competent and took over most of the records....
by kramer
Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance for 5 Month International Travel
Replies: 9
Views: 1362

Re: Health Insurance for 5 Month International Travel

Thanks for your input Kramer. Yes, healthcare costs in the Philippines is very low, I will only need insurance for any major costs, any emergencies, accidents, surgeries, transplants, etc., that need urgent attention and will not allow me to fly back to the U.S. to get treated. Does World Nomads He...
by kramer
Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance for 5 Month International Travel
Replies: 9
Views: 1362

Re: Health Insurance for 5 Month International Travel

If you are traveling abroad, even for an extended period, you must maintain US-based health insurance or you will have to pay the ObamaCare tax penalty on your US income taxes. The only way to not have US-based health insurance and to legally avoid the tax penalty is if you qualify under one of the ...
by kramer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 2:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite TED Talks
Replies: 26
Views: 3842

Re: Favorite TED Talks

http://www.ted.com/talks/mark_kendall_demo_a_needle_free_vaccine_patch_that_s_safer_and_way_cheaper/transcript?language=en This is Mark Kendall's Ted talk (and transcript) about the Nano-patch, an alternative to the needle for vaccinations. I think this will be one of the ten most important inventio...
by kramer
Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?
Replies: 79
Views: 7955

Re: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?

I retired in April, 2007 in my early 40's with a 65/35 portfolio (had been 75/25 prior to retirement). I had just moved abroad in late summer 2008 as the market started to crash. I was very busy and that probably helped. I rebalanced into stocks all the way down and would have continued doing so. Re...
by kramer
Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changes to T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan
Replies: 12
Views: 4767

Re: Changes to T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan

I only spend about 6 weeks per year in the USA and I have used this plan for several years as it is nice to have a known phone number immediately upon landing and be able to spend so little during the year to keep my number. However, now I have smartphone (so would prefer more data capabilities) and...

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