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Re: Roth Conversion Caution

You also should be aware that the AGI tiers for SS inclusion have never been adjusted for inflation and are not going to be so if you are not yet at 85%, good chance you will be at some point. This is a huge issue and the reason that I have not been more enthusiastic about conversions. I am staying...
by kramer
Mon Sep 15, 2014 5:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Caution
Replies: 9
Views: 1148

Re: 5-year TIPS real yield goes positive!

Victoria, I was fortunate enough to make these 30 year TIPs purchases in my mid-40's during early retirement so hopefully I won't have to (or want to) cash any of them in early. I am 48 now. However, for someone retiring later, they may decide to buy shorter term TIPs. That could make the decision b...
by kramer
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5-year TIPS real yield goes positive!
Replies: 6
Views: 1097

Re: 5-year TIPS real yield goes positive!

Building a decent sized portfolio of ibonds (say $100k on a $1m total portfolio) takes quite a long time. I treat the I Bonds I am buying now as a real "$10k pension" 30 years from now. The idea is that my actual pensions, Social Security and I Bonds would cover my basic retirement needs,...
by kramer
Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5-year TIPS real yield goes positive!
Replies: 6
Views: 1097

Re: Self-insurance option for auto insurance in TX (601.122)

Why would anyone want to do this, unless they are denied coverage by every insurer? Agreed. $50,000 of liability coverage is simply way too low for anyone with assets or earning power, present or future. And if you have $50,000 to spare, it would make more sense to go ahead and buy liability insura...
by kramer
Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insurance option for auto insurance in TX (601.122)
Replies: 12
Views: 789

Re: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given

Were you using your Japan address or did you maintain a domestic address for the bank account? You may have trouble opening up a new USA account without a domestic address. I live abroad, and I honestly don't think I could even get a new credit card and I maintain a USA forwarding address and still...
by kramer
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given
Replies: 38
Views: 3876

Re: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given

CitiBank has branches in Japan (in Tokyo at least), and I found them to be very helpful while in Japan. I would check them out. Citibank is who I use. But they don't have any connection with Citibank in the US other than the name. What I mean is if I opened a Citibank account in the US, it would no...
by kramer
Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given
Replies: 38
Views: 3876

Re: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given

Were you using your Japan address or did you maintain a domestic address for the bank account? You may have trouble opening up a new USA account without a domestic address. I live abroad, and I honestly don't think I could even get a new credit card and I maintain a USA forwarding address and still ...
by kramer
Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given
Replies: 38
Views: 3876

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

Conversely, we're suckers for the shows on HGTV that show couples purchasing the most amazing beach houses
I call HGTV "The Consumption Channel"
by kramer
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2045

Re: Longevity Risk: My Money or Your Life

Valuethinker wrote: But there has not been a revolution in how many people live past 85 say. It's not that we've made it possible for humans to live past their alloted span (say around 100 years) it's just we've worked out how to get more people to that age. Actually, many experts disagree with you...
by kramer
Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Longevity Risk: My Money or Your Life
Replies: 22
Views: 1415

Re: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live

My 2 cents is that people often overvalue being close to a particular airport and that this variable requires deeper analysis. If you are flying once a month or less, for instance, I don't see being close as such a big deal. I like the analysis that a poster did earlier in this thread about how long...
by kramer
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 2810

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

+1 The Martian Plus, plus. I thought this book was fantastically detailed and I almost couldn't put it down. I downloaded a free PDF version last year (the author's license made it freely distributable) but it is now on Kindle books on Amazon, as well. It is by Andy Weir. You can see lots of review...
by kramer
Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 128
Views: 4759

Re: WSJ on leaving Roth IRA to heirs.. no so fast???

Useful article. Thanks. The article didn't elaborate on this, but I guess they could easily put in the tax code that a ROTH IRA distribution counts as income toward deciding if your Social Security is taxable (or that you owe a higher Medicare Part B premium). Even if the ROTH IRA distribution itsel...
by kramer
Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ on leaving Roth IRA to heirs.. no so fast???
Replies: 11
Views: 1888

Re: William Sharpe advises against rebalancing

I sure am glad that I rebalanced in late 2008 and early 2009. We can’t all rebalance, because rebalancing to pre-selected proportions means selling relative winners and buying relative losers. Since we can’t all do that, the question is: If this is the obvious thing to do, with whom are you going to...
by kramer
Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Sharpe advises against rebalancing
Replies: 32
Views: 2611

Re: Thailand/Cambodia Travel Recommendations

You are traveling in the rainy season and yes that is a lot of travel in 8 days. I thought two full days was enough in Siem Reap. I did two full day tours, one through Angkor Wat and one of the Tonle Sap lake area. We actually enjoyed the latter more. This February Angkor Wat was pretty much a touri...
by kramer
Thu Sep 04, 2014 1:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thailand/Cambodia Travel Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1328

Re: Overseas Retirement

Roxie, welcome to the Bogleheads. I have lived in 4 different countries (Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, Philippines) as an early retiree. I make my home now in the Philippines. My personal opinion is that, for the most part, when you include ALL costs, it is just as cheap or cheaper to live in an inexp...
by kramer
Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overseas Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 1096

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

I recharged mine just last month after an 11 month period since the last recharge ($10 recharge). I have never changed plans or used data. I recharged around July 8, 2014. It still has the same plan balance. However, the expiration date is no longer there (should be about July 8, 2015). My account s...
by kramer
Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changes to T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan
Replies: 8
Views: 1419

Re: using the 15% tax bracket

Thanks for the great discussion. I am a retiree in my late 40's whose taxable income consists almost entirely of qualified dividends. Less than one-third of my net worth is in an IRA and it is almost entirely in bonds. Most of the taxable account is in equities plus some of the higher rate I-bonds. ...
by kramer
Mon Aug 25, 2014 1:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4391

Re: Sending cash back to myself in the US (from Brazil)

Just the act of going to a bank to ask about this could draw unwanted attention. And while this is a lot of money, it is not *that* much money (e.g., if you lose it, it would not be the end of the world). Just try to keep it safely locked up in your hotel room. Rio is downright dangerous, don't take...
by kramer
Fri Aug 22, 2014 12:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sending cash back to myself in the US (from Brazil)
Replies: 3
Views: 428

Re: Motorcycle for short commute?

joe8d wrote:Hold on.The Elio( $ 6800 ) should be going in production soon.It has A/C

Yeah, these recent threads on motorbikes makes me think there really is a market for this thing -- I certainly hope so.
by kramer
Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motorcycle for short commute?
Replies: 63
Views: 3753

Re: Cost of Medical Records

> The amount seems outrageous It is. But if you ask for the billing record, I am sure they will provide that for free ;-) I think I paid Kaiser 15 cents a page back in 2007 and also had to wait awhile and then go in there in person to collect them. Now that I proactively manage my own health care, I...
by kramer
Sun Aug 17, 2014 5:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cost of Medical Records
Replies: 16
Views: 1076

Re: Affording a 1.3 million home?

How certain are you that you will continue to live in the Bay Area? An alternative life path that I think you should consider is living where you are for another few years (maybe sell your current home and rent a bigger place as needed), continue working and saving a good deal of money. Then, once ...
by kramer
Thu Aug 07, 2014 7:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Affording a 1.3 million home?
Replies: 105
Views: 11190

Re: How do you document your HSA "stuff?"

I use a similar technique. At the end of each year, I write a list of the expenses on a yellow sheet of paper and then total them up. I have another piece of yellow paper where I write the total for each year. Then, I take a picture of each receipt and also a picture of the two yellow papers. I stor...
by kramer
Tue Aug 05, 2014 8:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How do you document your HSA "stuff?"
Replies: 38
Views: 2214

Re: VPW calculator

Yes, you can go to this site and get the same results as VPW with a simple calculator: http://tcalc.timevalue.com/all-financial-calculators/retirement-calculators/retirement-spending-calculator.aspx Just enter the future real rate of return of your investments, the number of years that you will be w...
by kramer
Fri Aug 01, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VPW calculator
Replies: 4
Views: 451

Re: On the Road/Air/Water Retirement

I have a Canadian friend who travels to Asia for 7 months each year, from about mid-October to mid-May. He owns a house in a nice area of Toronto that is near a university. So he rents his place out, fully furnished, for these 7 months each year to students. It helps defer his housing costs. He keep...
by kramer
Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On the Road/Air/Water Retirement
Replies: 56
Views: 5064

Re: Treasury Direct--just blowing off steam

Is the following correct, based upon my reading of this thread: * When I sign up for a Treasury Direct account, I can sign up with TWO linked bank accounts. * Switching between these accounts as my Primary account within Treasury Direct can be done online and without filing forms Is the above correc...
by kramer
Sat Jul 26, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct--just blowing off steam
Replies: 58
Views: 4221

Re: How indexing let these retirees live footloose and fancy

If they are college educated and retired at age 38 that gives them what....15 years of social security earning history? Those upcoming social security checks aren't going to be very big. Social Security is highly progressive. You hit the first bend point around $400K lifetime income under SS cap. A...
by kramer
Wed Jul 23, 2014 4:25 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How indexing let these retirees live footloose and fancyfree
Replies: 35
Views: 3949

Re: How indexing let these retirees live footloose and fancy

They did not start out spending $30,000 per year back in the early 90's when they retired, that is what they spend now. So their withdrawal rate was not 6%. I can recall that throughout the mid-2000's their spending level was consistently about $24,000. $500K 1991 is around $830K more recently in i...
by kramer
Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How indexing let these retirees live footloose and fancyfree
Replies: 35
Views: 3949

Re: Help me select a streaming media device

I don't have Amazon Prime. what is western digital live? That's a new one for me. gatorman It is first and foremost a media player. That means it has hard drive storage or USB ports to plug a portable hard drive into and can play media files stored on there and then the video output goes to your te...
by kramer
Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help me select a streaming media device
Replies: 24
Views: 1853

Re: How indexing let these retirees live footloose and fancy

They did not start out spending $30,000 per year back in the early 90's when they retired, that is what they spend now. So their withdrawal rate was not 6%. I can recall that throughout the mid-2000's their spending level was consistently about $24,000. They are very nice people and I know them pers...
by kramer
Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:19 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How indexing let these retirees live footloose and fancyfree
Replies: 35
Views: 3949

Re: Directing asset allocation for early retirement

I retired at age 41 and I think my taxable was about 2/3 of my net worth. And my overall asset allocation for all my accounts was about 65% equities and 35% fixed income. Anyway, I did not compromise too much and so, on average, over 90% of my taxable has been in equities. I do track both my SWR fro...
by kramer
Sat Jul 19, 2014 12:23 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Directing asset allocation for early retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 2018

Re: Paperwhite for Cloudy-Day Reading

I am very happy with my Kindle Paperwhite 2. The biggest weakness is seeing illustrations in a book. I was reading a scientific book on it yesterday and the charts were absolutely useless to me. I have to look at the same book on my regular tablet to see them. I had another book on pool and that one...
by kramer
Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:08 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paperwhite for Cloudy-Day Reading
Replies: 21
Views: 1859

Re: Overseas Residents And the Affordable Health Care Act

Arby, just a couple of quick notes: * When you are eventually eligible for Medicare, I think you can get treatment in Guam/Saipan. That would at least be an option for you that is closer than Honolulu -- you can get direct flights to Guam via Taipei or Hong Kong, among other choices. Guam is a 4 hou...
by kramer
Wed Jul 16, 2014 7:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overseas Residents And the Affordable Health Care Act
Replies: 10
Views: 1090

Re: Footwear in Vietnam

wander wrote:If you are going to ride motorbike, then shoes are the must have. Sandals are fine. Jeans are popular in Vietnam.
Good point, I was going to mention this, also.
Vietnam has 3 distinct climate zones and the seasonal climate is always bad in at least one of them.
by kramer
Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Footwear in Vietnam
Replies: 25
Views: 2171

Re: Footwear in Vietnam

Having traveled extensively in tropical climates, including Vietnam, and trying to pack light, my strategy has evolved. I now wear one pair of nice tennis shoes and carry a pair of flip flops. I used to also carry a pair of Teva sandals (which I loved) but I could not use sandals as my *only* footwe...
by kramer
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Footwear in Vietnam
Replies: 25
Views: 2171

Re: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleig

I also drive a Kymco scooter (125 cc Super 8 bought new in 2012 for $1500) here in the Philippines and I love it -- and operating costs are almost nothing. I only use it to get around town even though it will do 60 mph. There are more scooters here so people are more aware of them when driving and s...
by kramer
Mon Jul 14, 2014 10:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleigh?
Replies: 79
Views: 6685

Re: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleig

I have a friend who always drove a car, but decided to take up motorcycling and started using both for commuting to work and regular activities. We are both software engineers by profession. Anyway, after trying out riding a motorbike for real life uses for an extended period of time, his conclusion...
by kramer
Sat Jul 12, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ditch car and commute to work in 250cc scooter in Raleigh?
Replies: 79
Views: 6685

Re: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]

The maximum check size is $5,000 so I just write $5,000 checks now and then. I don't want to involve my brokerages in this process at all. My assumption, based on the above, is that if you sell investments in your brokerage accounts and generate cash, you then move the cash from the brokerage to a ...
by kramer
Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]
Replies: 97
Views: 8258

Re: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]

In regards to the practical considerations of living overseas and getting access to your money, a lot will depend on which country you end up in and whether you also want to buy property and invest there. I have lived in a total of four foreign countries but have now settled in the Philippines. Luck...
by kramer
Tue Jul 08, 2014 6:36 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]
Replies: 97
Views: 8258

Re: Does corporate credit risk add value

Excellent and relevant article. Larry, you mention the Barclay's Capital Treasury Bond index in the article. If I understand correctly, that is the index listed here as "US Treasury" with no particular range of years like the others listed, and currently has a duration of 5.26 years: https...
by kramer
Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does corporate credit risk add value
Replies: 71
Views: 4366

Re: International stock allocation: currency risk

Also, for the typical investor who has, say, a 30% allocation to foreign equities in a 60/40 portfolio: * He probably has all or mostly dollar-denominated bonds * Much of his wealth is in future dollar-denominated Social Security payments and Medicare So his foreign currency exposure is much less th...
by kramer
Tue Jul 01, 2014 11:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International stock allocation: currency risk
Replies: 29
Views: 1393

Re: O Canada! Questions about traveling to Canada :-)

Canada is much stricter about letting Americans cross the border than vice versa. If you or anyone in your party has any sort of criminal record during your lifetime (including things like 30 year old drug misdemeanors), or any DUI or alcohol-related conviction, you will probably be denied entry. Bo...
by kramer
Tue Jul 01, 2014 10:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: O Canada! Questions about traveling to Canada :-)
Replies: 34
Views: 3708

Re: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD

kramer, you packed a lot into a post above, so let's unpack it and explore: I think the problem here is that not only are you paying a penalty for an early CD withdrawal, but interest rates may have fallen and so you don't recoup the true market value of your CD. Direct CDs don't have a "true ...
by kramer
Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD
Replies: 75
Views: 8191

Re: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?

I return to the USA once each year and this is the time I make my laptop purchases. I have a 2 year old Windows 7 laptop (that only cost $350) and was thinking about upgrading this month. I decided to wait until I could get one that is fundamentally better. Here is what I plan to get next year: * HD...
by kramer
Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy A New Windows Computer Now?
Replies: 53
Views: 2987

Re: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD

Also, with the early withdrawal option, direct CDs provide decent liquidity; it only takes a day to do an early withdrawal from a taxable CD, and it only takes 2-3 weeks to do an IRA transfer, which should be enough time to buy cheap stocks in a bear market. Of course there is the risk of banks and...
by kramer
Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD
Replies: 75
Views: 8191

Re: Retirement age for software engineers

At my MegaCorp hardware and software company from which I retired 7 years ago, I never detected even a whiff of age-ism.
by kramer
Tue Jun 24, 2014 4:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement age for software engineers
Replies: 94
Views: 9879

Re: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD

I think in his latest book a lot of Bill B.'s argument for holding Treasuries is liquidity. But it is not (primarily) about liquidity for spending needs. It is about liquidity in deep, bear markets when you should be buying equities on the cheap.
by kramer
Tue Jun 24, 2014 3:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE Capital Retail Bank 5-Year 2.3% CD
Replies: 75
Views: 8191

Re: I Bonds 5.27% interest

Yes, it is wonderful :D And I found out about them from the Bogleheads. I have a full year's batch from April (3.4%) and October 2001 (3.0%). They are now part of my Liability Matching Portfolio. At the time I invested in them, I was in the (Fed plus State) 40% tax bracket and I had limited space av...
by kramer
Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:14 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds 5.27% interest
Replies: 33
Views: 3714

Re: It is time to retire when you .......

I knew it was time to retire when . . .

I was so burned out on my tech job that each time I needed to use the restroom I walked downstairs from my 3rd story office and walked outside to a random restroom on the other side of the campus. Just to get outside and get away.
by kramer
Sat Jun 21, 2014 12:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It is time to retire when you .......
Replies: 104
Views: 9856

Re: Any other retirees moving money out of Vanguard?

It seems to me that the main shortcoming at Vanguard for fixed income, which I think is shared by all brokerages, is that the brokered CD rates are well below the rates you can get for CDs directly from banks. This shortcoming seems to range from around 0.5% to 0.2%, depending on duration. I have be...
by kramer
Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any other retirees moving money out of Vanguard?
Replies: 54
Views: 6269

Re: Swedroe's New Book

Thanks for the book, Larry, it was a great read. It also helped clarify some of the new concepts being discussed on the Bogleheads board (momentum, etc) I really like this trend toward shorter and more focused books that has been enabled by the e-book revolution which was not possible before with th...
by kramer
Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Swedroe's New Book
Replies: 76
Views: 12476
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