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Re: Mortgage or Equity Line of Credit?

You have a lot of homework to do. Some states (Texas) don't allow taking out a mortgage on a property which you already own; others do. I don't know about Florida. There's sometimes a distinction between a Home Equity Line of Credit and a home equity loan. HELOCs are usually interest only, since the...
by ourbrooks
Sat Dec 20, 2014 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Mortgage or Equity Line of Credit?
Replies: 2
Views: 334

Re: Stuck with TIAA-CREF-is there a Boglehead mix?

One could always ask, what would Ben Bernanke or Janet Yellen do? They both have money in TIAA/CREF; I think they're both in TIAA Traditional / CREF Stock. Most of the TIAA fund are standard mutual funds, comparable to what you find at Vanguard. Two of the funds are entirely different. The TIAA Trad...
by ourbrooks
Sat Dec 20, 2014 1:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stuck with TIAA-CREF-is there a Boglehead mix?
Replies: 20
Views: 1429

Re: Oil's future...

Look at this chart: http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/World-Oil-Production-at-3312014Where-are-We-Headed.html . Although the graph is of production, it's really a graph of consumption, since there's no place to store significant amounts of crude oil. Note that despite the weakness of much of the ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil's future...
Replies: 56
Views: 6059

Re: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?

If you're planning to get by without Medicare, you should also be planning the continuation of the historical growth rate for medical care spending. Even though it's slowed over the past five years, it's still growing at almost double the general rate of inflation. Today, a private policy for a 64 y...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 16, 2014 10:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?
Replies: 50
Views: 3997

Re: Energy sector

Oil has gone from 110+ down to 65 in a few months. Is it time to overweight the energy sector? No, the time to take action was before it happened. Of course, I didn't know that then... and, I take it, neither did you. Why would you want to buy into the energy sector before prices go down? So you ca...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy sector
Replies: 55
Views: 4191

Re: Energy sector

I am thinking of buying OIL. I think it ir pretty much same as WTI. any ideas? Yes, OIL is based on WTI. Of course, you are familiar with the terms, contago and backwardation. If you're investing in any vehicle which is based on futures contracts, you ought to be very familiar with those terms. Rea...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy sector
Replies: 55
Views: 4191

Re: Oil's future...

"Fracking" is really two technologies, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. In horizontal drilling, when the depth of the producing formation is reached, the well bore is redirected so that it runs parallel to the surface. Hydraulic fracturing involves pumping a water based fluid ...
by ourbrooks
Mon Dec 15, 2014 8:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil's future...
Replies: 56
Views: 6059

Re: Why is a natural gas stock (UPL) caught in the oil downt

You might want to go to the Ultra Petroleum web sites and read about what they are doing. Even though their reserves are claimed to be about 10% oil, they've been making lots from the oil because oil prices have been high. Also, in some of their natural gas plays, they need natural gas prices of mor...
by ourbrooks
Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is a natural gas stock (UPL) caught in the oil downturn?
Replies: 7
Views: 703

Re: Buy oil drilling companies stocks?

Seadrill (SDRL) does contract off shore deep water drilling; it doesn't own or sell oil. Deep water drilling is the most expensive type of drilling. Usually, deep water wells are produced from off shore platforms which cost billions to construct and take a decade to build. Companies like Seadrill op...
by ourbrooks
Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:28 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Buy oil drilling companies stocks?
Replies: 5
Views: 464

Re: Energy sector

When the oil companies themselves start buying other oil companies, that might well call the bottom (as it did in 1998 with Exxon Mobil and BP Amoco). Halliburton just bought Baker Hughes. Does that count? Remind me. Did Dick Cheney as CEO do the same thing, and then they spun it out? Ie is this ju...
by ourbrooks
Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy sector
Replies: 55
Views: 4191

Re: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?

What makes you sure that your own savings and investments can be counted on, anymore than government programs? What if the world wide capital glut continues and grows even larger, driving real yields on quality stocks below zero? What if the income gap continues to grow and very high tax rates on th...
by ourbrooks
Sat Dec 13, 2014 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you factor entitlements into your investing plan?
Replies: 50
Views: 3997

Re: Energy sector

Valuethinker wrote: When the oil companies themselves start buying other oil companies, that might well call the bottom (as it did in 1998 with Exxon Mobil and BP Amoco).


Halliburton just bought Baker Hughes. Does that count?
by ourbrooks
Sat Dec 13, 2014 9:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy sector
Replies: 55
Views: 4191

Re: Energy sector

Drilling a well may cost from a million to a billion dollars. However, once a well is producing oil, it will produce oil inexpensively. Perhaps, you meant "relatively inexpensively." Many wells have electric pumps and you have to pay for electricity. Some wells are so far from pipelines t...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Energy sector
Replies: 55
Views: 4191

Re: Oil's future...

Shale is profitable with 10% profit margin at $40 per barrel. I'd really, really like to know the basis of that claim. According to this source, http://www.businessinsider.com/citi-breakeven-oil-production-prices-2014-11 , that's only true in the Marcellus Wet play; everywhere else, it's higher. In...
by ourbrooks
Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:54 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil's future...
Replies: 56
Views: 6059

Re: Oil's future...

There's considerably variation in the breakeven price for oil, dependent on which play you're talking about. Here's a chart which shows some of the differences: http://www.businessinsider.com/citi-breakeven-oil-production-prices-2014-11 . Leaving the world of the factual and going off into pure spec...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 09, 2014 7:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil's future...
Replies: 56
Views: 6059

Re: Oil's future...

Hydraulic fracturing has been commercial since the 1950s; horizontal drilling has been around for at least 30 years. George Mitchell showed in the late 1980s that using these techniques on low permeability formations could lead to commercially successful wells. So what's new that's causing the "...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Oil's future...
Replies: 56
Views: 6059

Re: Interest only mortgages

There are mortgages in which the payments are interest only for five or ten years and then the payments increase and amortization begins. The idea behind them is that younger borrowers get a break when their incomes are relatively low and then pay more when they can afford more. When amortization be...
by ourbrooks
Sun Dec 07, 2014 9:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Interest only mortgages
Replies: 6
Views: 814

Re: I Can't Smell The Coffee

Chinese/Vietnamese/Korean grocery stores carry little stainless steel one serve coffee makers that you pour boiling water into. They work with French press/percolator grind coffee. The filtering is through little holes in the cup, so there's no disposable filter to dispose of or run out of.
by ourbrooks
Sun Dec 07, 2014 4:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Can't Smell The Coffee [one cup coffee maker]
Replies: 36
Views: 4823

Re: First Time Cell Phone T-Mobile

Many/most cell phones are "locked" to a particular carrier. They are loaded with software that will only work with that carrier. A Samsung T199 for the AT&T network might not work with a Samsung T199 for T Mobile. On the other hand, you needn't buy a T Mobile phone just from T Mobile. ...
by ourbrooks
Sat Dec 06, 2014 7:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First Time Cell Phone T-Mobile
Replies: 4
Views: 909

Re: Disadvantages of not investing in bonds

Alas, rebalancing won't overcome the effects of the lower returns on bonds. If it's 100% stocks versus 90% stocks and rebalancing, the 100% stocks will win over the long term. That includes rebalancing with new money. Sometimes, rebalancing means buying more bonds; all of those times you put new mon...
by ourbrooks
Sat Dec 06, 2014 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Disadvantages of not investing in bonds
Replies: 29
Views: 2533

Re: Retirement Planning: Estimating Med-Insurance Costs

Basic A/B Medicare is about $1250 per person per year. On the Medicare site, if you select Medicare Advantage plans, they give estimates of how much you can expect to pay in total, including drug coverage. Most of the estimates seem to be around $5,000. The less expensive plans don't cover dental or...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 05, 2014 6:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning: Estimating Med-Insurance Costs
Replies: 12
Views: 924

Re: Retirement Planning: Estimating Med-Insurance Costs

Go to http://www.medicare.gov and look up current costs. Use the Medicare Plan Finder to find the costs for basic coverage and supplemental plans. Then, choose your favorite medical cost inflation rate (4%?) to project future costs. If you were 65 now, you'd be paying less than $5,000 a year, even i...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Planning: Estimating Med-Insurance Costs
Replies: 12
Views: 924

Re: Buying a AT&T Uverse compatible modem / router

Be careful not to confuse Uverse and ordinary DSL. They're not the same; read the Wikipedia article on Uverse. I haven't been able to find a VSDL2 modem which claims to be compatible with Uverse. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that ATT has added all kinds of proprietary features to their VDS...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a AT&T Uverse compatible modem / router
Replies: 8
Views: 1049

Re: Interest Rates — How Low, For How Long?

I find the increasing savings rate in emergency economies very perplexing. Essentially, what must be happening is that as wages and incomes increase, people are keeping their spending constant and putting the additional funds into savings. Unless they are export oriented economies, how can their eco...
by ourbrooks
Fri Dec 05, 2014 1:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Interest Rates — How Low, For How Long?
Replies: 14
Views: 1680

Re: I'm scared - online hacking

Alas, unless you are foolish enough to tell some evil stranger how much money you've got in your accounts, your individual computer is not a target for hackers. We know how little in savings most Americans have; hacking personal computers at random isn't likely to have much of a payoff. A much more ...
by ourbrooks
Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I'm scared - online hacking
Replies: 44
Views: 4850

Re: Buying home without a buyer's agent

Just to clarify a bit, while it is true that the buyer's agent commission is paid out of the seller's proceeds from the sale, the buyer's agent needn't have ever met the seller or had any direct contact whatsoever, although the buyer's agents usually show up at the closing to collect their check. Al...
by ourbrooks
Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying home without a buyer's agent
Replies: 41
Views: 1916

Re: Buying home without a buyer's agent

I have been told by at least one real estate agent that they are hesitant to deal with unrepresented buyers. The buyer may have had some kind of dealings with an agent in the past and the other agent can pop at the closing or, worse still, file a suit several months later demanding a commission. It'...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 02, 2014 9:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying home without a buyer's agent
Replies: 41
Views: 1916

Re: Buying home without a buyer's agent

Believe it or not, most buyer's agents are paid by the seller. When a seller lists a property through an MLS agent, the listing includes the amount that will be paid to the buyer's agent. The standard commission is 3%, but in a hot market, sellers will sometimes offer less. Again, it's the seller's ...
by ourbrooks
Tue Dec 02, 2014 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying home without a buyer's agent
Replies: 41
Views: 1916

Re: World Stock Returns & GDP Growth, 1988-2013

Sort of a meaningless result, because the stocks domiciled in each country rarely get much of their revenue from that country. Easy example: The leading holding of the Vanguard Emerging Market Fund is Taiwan Semiconductor. Their main businesses is contract semi-conductor manufacturing, although they...
by ourbrooks
Sun Nov 30, 2014 10:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: World Stock Returns & GDP Growth, 1988-2013
Replies: 10
Views: 1412

Re: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question

Part of the problem with showing the EPA that the LED bulbs will last for their rated life is that their rated life is on the order of 22,000 hours. That's 2.5 years if you left them on continuously and 7.5 years if you left them on for 8 hours a day. I'm guessing that 2.5 years is longer than the d...
by ourbrooks
Sun Nov 30, 2014 9:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Long-Lasting Incandescents + LED Question
Replies: 64
Views: 4880

Re: Effect of lower oil prices on interest rates?

The impact of oil prices may not be very large because the glut may not last very long. "Fracked" wells, which are responsible for some of the increased supply, typically have a much shorter productive life than conventionally drilled wells, perhaps 5 years as versus 10-25 for conventional...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 28, 2014 9:52 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Effect of lower oil prices on interest rates?
Replies: 6
Views: 1151

Re: Should 529s be counted part of our net worth?

Why do you want to calculate your net worth at all? The only reason I can think of is bragging rights, impressing relatives and the like. Oh, and being allowed by a brokerage to invest in more risky vehicles. What really matters for retirement is the amount of income you'll have available. Consider ...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 28, 2014 8:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should 529s be counted part of our net worth?
Replies: 34
Views: 2553

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

There's a very good reason why there aren't that many people in their 50's in IT and it has nothing to do with age discrimination. Most people start their careers at around age 25. Someone who is 50 now would have started their careers around 1990. In 1990, there were around 400,000 IT workers. Toda...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 28, 2014 1:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 14639

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?

The 0.1% difference between the safe withdrawal method and the annuity method of estimating a savings goal isn't really a meaningful difference. The 4% safe withdrawal rate is for a 30 year period. The 3.9% annuity payout is for as long as one member of the couple lives. For a couple, both 65, the r...
by ourbrooks
Thu Nov 27, 2014 6:28 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?
Replies: 84
Views: 7964

Re: Engineered Hardwood Floors

Besides the pieces being installed too tightly together, possibly due to the temperature at which they were installed, another possible cause is the underflooring. If it's not properly constructed, the creaking, etc. could be from the underflooring. Going to solid wood flooring, alas, is probably no...
by ourbrooks
Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineered Hardwood Floors
Replies: 14
Views: 2398

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

Your career is definitely over by the time you reach 80. After all, how many 80 year old IT people do you know? The relatively small number of IT people in their 60's just might have something to do with how big the IT industry was 40 years ago, when people now in their 60's were starting their care...
by ourbrooks
Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 14639

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?

Suppose that future returns are, in fact, lower but they're also less volatile. Could be. How do I go about calculating a reasonable withdrawal rate? Clearly, I can't use sequences of historical returns. I've got no choice but to use Monte Carlo simulators. Further, there are known methods for produ...
by ourbrooks
Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:56 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rates - Is the 4% rule still good?
Replies: 84
Views: 7964

Re: No Fee Annuity?

The word, annuity, just means a regular stream of payments; there are a zillion kinds. A pension is, technically speaking, an annuity. There are things called annuities which are wrappers around stock/bond portfolios and generally charge outrageous fees. There are things called annuities which are e...
by ourbrooks
Tue Nov 25, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Fee Annuity?
Replies: 14
Views: 1548

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

For the record, many Victorian homes had convection heat, not steam heat. Often, there were grates in the floor open to the room below which allowed warm air to rise. If the OP's house started as a convection heated house and then had duct work added later, the cost of adding any kind of radiator ba...
by ourbrooks
Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 27
Views: 3254

Re: Wire transfer from Europe (fees, exchange rate)

Open an Everbank foreign currency account in Euros; have the European bank wire the money to the Everbank account without converting it; Everbank has a SWIFT setup that can be used for that. Generally, there's no fee for that, but it depends on the European bank. At your leisure, have Everbank conve...
by ourbrooks
Sun Nov 23, 2014 8:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfer from Europe (fees, exchange rate)
Replies: 16
Views: 844

Re: Debt vs Taxes

If your plan permits it, one option is to take a loan against the 457b and use the proceeds to pay off the student debt. The interest you pay on the 457b loan goes back to you, not a bank, and is considered an after tax contribution to the 457b account.
by ourbrooks
Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Debt vs Taxes
Replies: 8
Views: 1351

Re: Home equity loan as an asset?

Suppose you follow your scheme and increase your equity allocation and then 2015 turns out to be just like 2000, the beginning of a 10 year period over which stocks had zero total return. How would that fit in with your desire for a bit more buffer on running out of money? A better alternative is to...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 21, 2014 7:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home equity loan as an asset?
Replies: 46
Views: 3176

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

To add to my earlier post: Also consider just getting the windows repaired if they're the original ones. Victorian windows had wood frames and single panes of glass. Wood is a very good insulator; premium quality replacement windows are made of wood, so the wood frames are not the problem. What migh...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 27
Views: 3254

Re: 529 Plan - when to stop contributing?

4 years of full tuition and room&board (if necessary) for flagship state university in-state In my state, that runs about $120K give or take right now :oops: +1 If you look at the various rankings of colleges and universities, there seen to be 20-30 private universities that make it to the top;...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 529 Plan - when to stop contributing?
Replies: 15
Views: 1756

Re: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House

Find out what your walls are really made of. If you really do have plaster on brick inside, the walls are probably quite thick and consists either of several rows of brick or inner and outer brick walls with some kind of fill inbetween. If it's fill and there are voids in it, it might be possible to...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 21, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My grown up Christmas wish-A Warm House
Replies: 27
Views: 3254

Re: smartphone over wifi - still possible?

Keep your dumb phone or get a dumb phone from another carrier. No data plan. Buy an Android tablet. There are $100 7 inch tablets with 1280x800 screens. Nearly all tablets are Wi-Fi only. Yup, you'll have to carry two things around with you. Compensation: It's much easier to do web surfing/mail read...
by ourbrooks
Fri Nov 21, 2014 10:47 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: smartphone over wifi - still possible?
Replies: 31
Views: 2681

Re: Light Bulb Question

You can't say categorically that LEDs are brighter than CFLs or vice versa for the same incandescent equivalent. It depends on how many lumens they think the incandescent is. I've seen 75 watt equivalents anywhere from 900 to 1500 lumens. That's a visible difference. Even the lumen ratings don't see...
by ourbrooks
Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Bulb Question
Replies: 66
Views: 5338

Re: Pension buyout offer - Accept or reject

Another way to look at it is what it would cost to buy an equivalent annuity on the open market. When I plugged in $57,000 at immediateannuities.com, I got $314 per month. Assuming something like current interest rates, you'd have to more than double your money between ages 53 and 65 to be able to g...
by ourbrooks
Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension buyout offer - Accept or reject
Replies: 46
Views: 5768

Re: Will the baby boomer selling effect come to fruition?

If the collective of the boomers starts downsizing, how will that affect the housing market? I have always thought we were "Joe average public" and we have discussed downsizing at some time in the future (I am 57). If we are then I assume more people are (or will) having the same discussi...
by ourbrooks
Thu Nov 13, 2014 9:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will the baby boomer selling effect come to fruition?
Replies: 14
Views: 2159

Re: Robot Rebalancing at Vanguard?

Vanguard has a number of funds which try and keep particular asset allocations; they mostly have "LifeStrategy" or "Balanced" in the fund name. For example, the LifeStrategy Moderate Growth fund is 60% stocks, 40% bonds. If bonds go up, they sell bonds and buy stocks to get back ...
by ourbrooks
Thu Nov 13, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Robot Rebalancing at Vanguard?
Replies: 10
Views: 1372
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