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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: 8
Views: 603

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: 46
Views: 1661

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: 3435

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: 317

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: 1038

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: 4557

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: 6022

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: 3288

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: 3288

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: 6537

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: 1927

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: 16
Views: 2112

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: 857

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: 1955

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: 106
Views: 8901

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: 3352

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: 1701

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: 771

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: 2117

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: 2810

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: 678

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: 7598

Re: Is semi-retirement a bad idea?

I never really want to completely retire. You say that now but things change. In 20 years you might have a different viewpoint. That's true, but always wanting to do something is an ingrained part of my personality. My father is the same way and still does part time work in his 70's. I also work in...
by kramer
Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is semi-retirement a bad idea?
Replies: 106
Views: 7598

Re: Relocating to a tax free state with good weather need ad

I will say that I have met a lot of techie guys working for an American company from abroad in a nice climate with a fast internet connection. As a non-resident of any state, they are not paying state income taxes. I guess they don't (have to) pay federal income taxes either, if they make money ove...
by kramer
Sun Oct 12, 2014 12:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to a tax free state with good weather need advice
Replies: 53
Views: 3663

Re: Relocating to a tax free state with good weather need ad

This really depends on a lot of factors and how strong your desires for these things are. Climate was a major consideration for me after I retired early and I treated it as an important factor, but just one factor among several. I find all the winter weather in the continental US way too cold, even ...
by kramer
Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to a tax free state with good weather need advice
Replies: 53
Views: 3663

Re: I Bonds - Best redemption strategy

How to best cash in the bonds to maximize your returns after taxes depends on personal circumstances, your personal income tax rate, and the availability of alternative investments for that money. My own case is that I have one full batch of 3.0% and 3.4% I-bonds maturing within about 6 months of on...
by kramer
Sun Oct 12, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bonds - Best redemption strategy
Replies: 13
Views: 1414

Re: Couch Surfing

I have had some wonderful couchsurfing experiences in several countries. I never used it to find a place to stay, just as a way to meet local people and expatriates open to meeting foreigners. I decided to start using it when I was traveling around Asia and I went to a certain tourist place on the b...
by kramer
Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Couch Surfing
Replies: 90
Views: 5887

Re: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 16 oct: yield=1.10%?

Thanks market timer. I've just spent the last 10 to 20 minutes trying to find a calculator to do that math and decided I needed Excel but my Excel skills weren't up to the task. The number is quite a bit closer to the "standard" 4% risky portfolio than I would have imagined. But what happ...
by kramer
Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 yr TIPs auction announced 16 oct: yield=1.10%?
Replies: 93
Views: 6679

Re: Medical Tourism - recent article

You can check if a hospital abroad has been certified to American standards of the JCI by going to this page: http://www.jointcommissioninternational.org/about-jci/jci-accredited-organizations/ I can tell you that in the Philippines, which does not have a good reputation for medical care, the best h...
by kramer
Sun Oct 05, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Tourism - recent article
Replies: 21
Views: 1843

Re: What SWR/expense multiple to use for early retirement pl

I will add that I am very happy that I overestimated my retirement expenses. Yeah, I've found it surprisingly cheap living overseas as well. To be honest, I am not sure that it's cheaper to live overseas (for me). But I do live quite a nice lifestyle. For me, it would definitely be a cheaper to liv...
by kramer
Fri Oct 03, 2014 8:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What SWR/expense multiple to use for early retirement plan?
Replies: 63
Views: 3284

Re: What SWR/expense multiple to use for early retirement pl

I retired in 2007 at age 41 so I have been through some portfolio ups and downs. I now have partially taken the approach of dividing my retirement into two halves, before 70 and after 70, which is before Social Security and after Social Security. And I combine Social Security with real return invest...
by kramer
Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:45 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What SWR/expense multiple to use for early retirement plan?
Replies: 63
Views: 3284

Re: Motorcycle for short commute?

Electric powered roller skates?? : New product. They go over your existing footwear. Weigh 7 pounds each. Easy to stop and start with foot movements. 12 mph max speed. Quick charging although plenty of range for the OP. Anyway, interesting idea ;-) Personally, I wait for version 2.0. http://www.wire...
by kramer
Fri Sep 26, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motorcycle for short commute?
Replies: 67
Views: 4334

Re: The Annuity Puzzlement

My feeling is that for most retirees, as long as space is available in tax deferred, a TIPS ladder is a better approach during the early years of retirement, say before age 80 or so. After that, especially if there's no bequeath motive, the mortality credits from life annuities become large enough ...
by kramer
Thu Sep 18, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Annuity Puzzlement
Replies: 95
Views: 7194

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 4:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Caution
Replies: 9
Views: 1263

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 11:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5-year TIPS real yield goes positive!
Replies: 6
Views: 1130

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 10:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5-year TIPS real yield goes positive!
Replies: 6
Views: 1130

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 2:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-insurance option for auto insurance in TX (601.122)
Replies: 12
Views: 901

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 11:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given
Replies: 38
Views: 4088

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
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given
Replies: 38
Views: 4088

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 9:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bank Closing My Account With No Reason Given
Replies: 38
Views: 4088

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 8:42 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2213

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 11:04 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Longevity Risk: My Money or Your Life
Replies: 22
Views: 1517

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 5:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Texas - Recommendation Where To Live
Replies: 56
Views: 3165

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 1:21 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 138
Views: 6910

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
Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: WSJ on leaving Roth IRA to heirs.. no so fast???
Replies: 11
Views: 1937

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 9:48 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Sharpe advises against rebalancing
Replies: 32
Views: 2730

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 12:15 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thailand/Cambodia Travel Recommendations
Replies: 22
Views: 1434

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 1:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Overseas Retirement
Replies: 7
Views: 1181

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 9:55 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Changes to T-Mobile's pay-as-you-go plan
Replies: 12
Views: 3435

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 12:01 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: using the 15% tax bracket
Replies: 42
Views: 4700
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