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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 11:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you still use currency or have you gone all-plastic?
Replies: 47
Views: 3211

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
Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Issues: Life Expectancy
Replies: 24
Views: 2212

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
Sat Mar 14, 2015 11:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oneplus One phone- experience?
Replies: 19
Views: 1750

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
Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Choosing between learning a language/learning martial art
Replies: 20
Views: 980

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 1:09 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aging Populations and Stock/Bond Market Returns
Replies: 31
Views: 3448

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
Fri Feb 27, 2015 1:01 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aging Populations and Stock/Bond Market Returns
Replies: 31
Views: 3448

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
Thu Feb 26, 2015 9:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat Roth IRA Rollover
Replies: 7
Views: 540

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
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: 7254

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
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: 7254

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
Mon Feb 23, 2015 6:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pick-Pockets
Replies: 63
Views: 5304

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
Thu Jan 29, 2015 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US citizen vs green card
Replies: 37
Views: 3648

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
Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: turbotax: foreign bank interest ?
Replies: 15
Views: 1084

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
Sun Jan 25, 2015 10:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Poll: Locating deceased person's assets
Replies: 33
Views: 2334

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
Sat Jan 24, 2015 12:03 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Half off TurboTax thru Monday
Replies: 37
Views: 4453

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
Tue Jan 20, 2015 11:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Florida in the summer
Replies: 81
Views: 5640

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
Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:15 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry's New Book On Sale
Replies: 10
Views: 1819

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
Wed Jan 14, 2015 10:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Already having second thoughts about HSA Bank
Replies: 20
Views: 2622

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
Sun Jan 11, 2015 10:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We miss Larry Swedroe
Replies: 28
Views: 7539

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
Thu Jan 08, 2015 5:51 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buy total international and not each country?
Replies: 21
Views: 2327

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 10:36 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retirement spending covered by SS
Replies: 34
Views: 2467

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
Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did/do/will foreign banks issue form 1099INT?
Replies: 8
Views: 908

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 10:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you usually order (not-free) beverage at restaurants?
Replies: 89
Views: 7739

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
Sun Dec 28, 2014 12:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 15% Capital Gain Rate and 0% Taxable Income
Replies: 39
Views: 2635

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
Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Master degree in Math
Replies: 50
Views: 4735

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
Thu Dec 11, 2014 11:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign tax credit cap?
Replies: 7
Views: 657

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
Wed Dec 03, 2014 3:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS looking for money, my CPA just died….
Replies: 8
Views: 2099

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
Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance for 5 Month International Travel
Replies: 9
Views: 1340

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
Sun Nov 30, 2014 5:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Health Insurance for 5 Month International Travel
Replies: 9
Views: 1340

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 2:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite TED Talks
Replies: 26
Views: 3665

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
Wed Nov 26, 2014 1:53 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you handle the 2008 bear market ?
Replies: 79
Views: 7581

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...
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: 4401

Re: Tax deferred savings during partial work year before ER?

Yes, in your situation, if you stay completely within the 15% tax bracket in 2015, probably better to only contribute to 401(k) up to matching. I would make sure you really need to do that much conversion of IRA before age 70 (15 years of topping up to top of 15% bracket). Because you will still pro...
by kramer
Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax deferred savings during partial work year before ER?
Replies: 2
Views: 361

Re: Do I really need a car?

I had a friend who did fine without a car in Redwood City. I assume you are in the more downtown-ish part and not the suburbia part of that city. When you relocate keep public transport in mind. It is possible in many areas of the Bay Area to rely on public transport alone, assuming you get your wor...
by kramer
Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do I really need a car?
Replies: 11
Views: 1130

Re: How often do you go out to dinner?

I put 3x per week. I live in the Philippines and a decent sit-down foreign food dinner for 2 usually averages about $17, including all costs (normally don't drink wine). And I have a large appetite. I regularly eat out for Italian, German, Indian, Thai, Mexican, and Filipino. While cooking can be fu...
by kramer
Mon Nov 17, 2014 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you go out to dinner?
Replies: 60
Views: 6733

Re: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income

I drive a scooter so I disqualified myself :shock: But even a brand new one is much less than one month's spending. It's a nice feeling :)
by kramer
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your car(s) are equal to how many months income
Replies: 93
Views: 6835

Re: BRSIX - 20% distribution

I hold mine in a Roth. If I could get a higher pre-tax total return by using a non-tax managed fund, I would do so. How much return do you suppose the tax management is costing me? I can't imagine it's much if the distributions are this large. Since the gains always seem to be long and not short te...
by kramer
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BRSIX - 20% distribution
Replies: 20
Views: 3325

Re: BRSIX - 20% distribution

It looks like another big distribution by BRSIX this year. Bridgeway funds just posted their 2014 estimated distributions: http://bridgeway_web.s3.amazonaws.com/cms/documents/b4d881e1a865760e/2014_Distribution_Estimates.pdf Projected long term capital gains distribution for BRSIX is $1.96. Current m...
by kramer
Wed Nov 12, 2014 1:34 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BRSIX - 20% distribution
Replies: 20
Views: 3325

Re: Food Frugality: Where do you draw the line?

Live a little and enjoy a piece of free cake once in a while. It's delicious.
by kramer
Tue Nov 11, 2014 12:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Food Frugality: Where do you draw the line?
Replies: 94
Views: 7807

Re: Interest is so low that Germans have to pay for savings

I had read before that German depositors could make a lot of money in the event the Euro was disbanded -- all their deposits could be converted to German Marks at a favorable rate. And so there is more demand to save money in Germany than in some other Euro countries. Hopefully, someone can provide ...
by kramer
Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest is so low that Germans have to pay for savings
Replies: 19
Views: 2011

Re: Any other geeks working on software to manage their inve

Before I retired in 2007, I wrote my own Monte Carlo simulation tool in Matlab. I found it very helpful in deciding if I was really ready to retire with respect to finances and it was simple to do what-if scenarios, especially with respect to variable spending in retirement.
by kramer
Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any other geeks working on software to manage their investme
Replies: 24
Views: 3159

Re: Do you optimize for consistent cash flow? (max 401k earl

I use to max out as early as possible until a co-worker educated me on how our company match worked. Apparently the company will match 5% on the first 6% contribution, on a paycheck by paycheck basis. The fact that it was paycheck by paycheck meant that I was missing out on 8-9 months per year of c...
by kramer
Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you optimize for consistent cash flow? (max 401k early)
Replies: 7
Views: 894

Re: EverBank

I have been with Everbank for close to a decade. I have traveled and lived overseas for most of that time. The good: Everbank consistently offers excellent CD rates and I now own one CD there. It is my only CD in a taxable account. Their overseas transaction fee with their debit card is 1% which is ...
by kramer
Thu Oct 23, 2014 11:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: EverBank
Replies: 13
Views: 2160

Re: Smartphone questions

For me, the best smartphone on the market right now is the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact. It all comes down to what you value. I don't really have an interest in the giant screens, so the 4.7" display is perfect for me. I don't need the ridiculous battery-sucking 1080p displays (or higher) on a 4.7&q...
by kramer
Wed Oct 22, 2014 2:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Smartphone questions
Replies: 107
Views: 10766

Re: Benefits to a larger than necessary house (as children g

Another issue that I did not see addressed is whether the OP plans to stop at five children or if the family will continue growing -- and how sure they are about that happening.

If they plan to have two more kids, that may have a major effect on their housing plans.
by kramer
Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:48 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Benefits to a larger than necessary house (as children grow)
Replies: 31
Views: 3460

Re: The Role of Life Expectancy

When I was doing Monte Carlo analysis prior to my retirement, I was really surprised how this factor washed out. Essentially, just as often as a long life expectancy caused failure, the portfolio succeeded when it would have failed because the retiree died sooner than expected. And so the rate of fi...
by kramer
Wed Oct 15, 2014 11:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Role of Life Expectancy
Replies: 25
Views: 1754

Buying Secondary Market CDs at Vanguard

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for buying Secondary Market CDs at VBS? It looks like there is a listing for hundreds of individual CDs and there is a simple bid-ask system and you can sort by maturity. It tells you what interest rate you are getting by bidding a certain amount and also what ...
by kramer
Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:54 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buying Secondary Market CDs at Vanguard
Replies: 6
Views: 812

Re: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area

Sounds good to me . . . and I lived in the Bay Area for 12 years and always rented. The issue with less of a market with 1 bedrooms . . . you are benefiting from that now when you buy at a good price. The hidden issue with home ownership there is that when you change jobs you may end up with a bad c...
by kramer
Tue Oct 14, 2014 11:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Leaning towards buying a 1-BR condo in Bay Area
Replies: 21
Views: 2240

Re: advice on a surface pro 3

I was holding my friend's pro 3 the other day. On the negative side, it strikes me as pretty heavy for a tablet (800 grams). And with the keyboard (which is not included in the price), the weight is 1.1 kg. Also, I don't know if that yet includes the weight of the cover. That is approaching ultraboo...
by kramer
Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: advice on a surface pro 3
Replies: 28
Views: 3144

Re: Schwab or Vanguard for account when living abroad?

If there is a net gain in your original holding and you sell it to buy something else, there is no wash sale issue because you don't have a loss, even if your new purchase is substantially identical. So you can immediately purchase the new holding.
by kramer
Sun Oct 12, 2014 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab or Vanguard for account when living abroad?
Replies: 7
Views: 998

Re: Is semi-retirement a bad idea?

I started college late and so I didn't finish graduate school and start my career proper until age 29. I would have sworn that I would never get burnt out and anyone that knew me would have sworn the same. But I burned out at age 40. Also, I came to the conclusion that high paying jobs are inherent...
by kramer
Sun Oct 12, 2014 1:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is semi-retirement a bad idea?
Replies: 106
Views: 8162
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