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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: 1055

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: 4306

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: 419

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: 3699

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: 1067

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: 11048

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: 2180

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: 445

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: 54
Views: 4669

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: 4192

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: 3915

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: 3915

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: 1840

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: 3915

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: 1989

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: 1850

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: 1086

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: 2126

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: 2126

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: 6634

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: 6634

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: 8115

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: 8115

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: 4297

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: 1362

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: 3668

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: 8108

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: 2962

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: 8108

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: 9797

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: 8108

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: 3702

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: 9805

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: 6247

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: 12335

Re: 30 Yr TIPS auction 6/19: 1.25% real yield? any takers?

Thanks #cruncher, you are correct. I recently bought the 10 year TIP with a 0.375% coupon so that one was on my mind and last year I bought the 30 year TIP (Feb. 15, 2043) with the 0.625% coupon (I think the effective price at auction for that one was 1.41% real). I prefer a coupon that more closely...
by kramer
Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:45 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 Yr TIPS auction 6/19: 1.25% real yield? any takers?
Replies: 59
Views: 4499

Re: 30 Yr TIPS auction 6/19: 1.25% real yield? any takers?

What will the amount of the actual TIPs security purchased yield? If I recall, it was something like 0.625% real in the previous auction.
by kramer
Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 30 Yr TIPS auction 6/19: 1.25% real yield? any takers?
Replies: 59
Views: 4499

Re: Difficulty opening Treasury Direct account

They want me to complete an Account Authorization form (which is quite annoying since I now have to find a bank or credit union that will give me a free Medallion Signature Guarantee on the form; my current bank would charge me $25 for it!) and snail mail it to them. You should feel fortunate. I li...
by kramer
Sat May 31, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Difficulty opening Treasury Direct account
Replies: 15
Views: 1316

Re: New Google Moto-E smartphone for $129

Spec says global version is "optimized for roaming outside the US." I plan to get the full details from carriers. Oop- looks like the global GSM phone only gets 2G with T-Mobile . Worth waiting for the US GSM phone. Good eye. Yeah, it looks like T-Mobile uses 1700 which appears not to be ...
by kramer
Sat May 17, 2014 4:11 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Google Moto-E smartphone for $129
Replies: 42
Views: 3804

Re: New Google Moto-E smartphone for $129

If this operates like other phones running KitKat (presumably it does), you can move some apps to the SD card. It depends whether the App allows this -- my understanding is that Apps didn't have to think about this before KitKat and so it is not yet written into many of them. I was helping a friend ...
by kramer
Thu May 15, 2014 5:18 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Google Moto-E smartphone for $129
Replies: 42
Views: 3804

Re: Int'l wire: Service providers? How fast?

My Canadian friend uses this service: http://www.canadianforex.ca/ He has used it to transfer money to both the USA and Asia. I don't think it is restricted to Canadians (in fact, I think it is an Australian company), but I am not sure. It seems like once a target account has been added, the transfe...
by kramer
Tue May 13, 2014 2:49 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int'l wire: Service providers? How fast?
Replies: 16
Views: 974

Re: Int'l wire: Service providers? How fast?

Louis Winthorpe III wrote:Try Xoom.com. It's a great service. Fast (often within a couple of hours, nearly always same day), reasonably priced, and you can use it from the comfort of your home or office.

Xoom does not offer service for transfers to South Korea.
by kramer
Tue May 13, 2014 2:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Int'l wire: Service providers? How fast?
Replies: 16
Views: 974

Re: need router advice

I would definitely not recommend Medialink. They almost sued a customer for posting a negative review on Amazon. They lost their amazon license: http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2014/05/lawyers-bully-redditor-for-negative-amazon-com-router-review/ Very interesting! I have purchased 3 of these rou...
by kramer
Sun May 11, 2014 12:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: need router advice
Replies: 56
Views: 3745

Re: Passbook Accounts - Poll

Here in the Philippines, a passbook account seems to be the default for a savings account. I have accounts at 2 banks and they are both passbook accounts, denominated in dollars. I can deposit US checks into them and the clearance time is about 17 business days even though the balance is shown in th...
by kramer
Sun May 11, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Passbook Accounts - Poll
Replies: 29
Views: 1541

Re: Need signature guarantee in Japan

This is the only reason I have not converted my paper I-bonds to Treasury Direct. I am worried that my linked account information could change at some point and then I would have to get a Medallion Signature Guarantee to change the information with Treasury Direct. I am not even sure how I would acc...
by kramer
Thu Apr 24, 2014 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need signature guarantee in Japan
Replies: 24
Views: 1569

Re: Foreign Bona-fide residency

I wouldn't even know in which state to apply for health insurance because I am not a resident of any state except that I still have a driver's license and address in Texas. I have even been worried about renewing my driver's license online when it comes up for renewal later this year. I would be in...
by kramer
Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Bona-fide residency
Replies: 12
Views: 1635

Re: Foreign Bona-fide residency

MichaelB wrote: The most important part of establishing residency is your intent, which in this case is pretty clear. There are many ways to demonstrate that, but living in the same location abroad with a long term type visa while having no permanet base in the US is as solid as it gets. My experie...
by kramer
Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Bona-fide residency
Replies: 12
Views: 1635

Re: Foreign Bona-fide residency

Well, keep in mind it's not 330 days per year but rather 330 days in any period of 12 months in a row... Yes I know that and I was trying to keep my initial description as short as possible. But again I just barely miss qualifying for this test, even given that it does not necessarily have to be a ...
by kramer
Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:14 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Bona-fide residency
Replies: 12
Views: 1635

Foreign Bona-fide residency

I would like to solicit opinions on my situation in regards to foreign bona-fide residence as defined by the IRS. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/Foreign-Earned-Income-Exclusion---Bona-Fide-Residence-Test I am retired, in my late 40's, and live abroad with no earned income. Th...
by kramer
Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:09 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Bona-fide residency
Replies: 12
Views: 1635

Re: POLL: why carry cash?

I live in the Philippines and it is pretty much a cash only economy. Even the minority of places that take credit cards, like a hotel, typically offer an unadvertised cash discount or they charge an unadvertised premium for using a credit card. When I had an emergency at a hospital here I did take a...
by kramer
Sat Apr 19, 2014 11:26 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: POLL: why carry cash?
Replies: 243
Views: 13668
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