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Update

Today I saw the oncological hematologist at my local community hospital and it was very frustrating. He said my JAK2 mutation level was high enough (and my EPO level low enough) for a very confident diagnosis but not too high in the grand scheme of things (whatever that means). I asked how well the ...
by plnelson
Wed Sep 10, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

Even then, the test is hardly more effective than a coin toss. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/10/opinion/10Ablin.html My father died of prostate cancer and I've had two (negative) biopsies and I get a DRE and PSA every year and my take on the PSA is similarly skeptical - with one exception: Many pa...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Social Security

Several people have suggested taking SS early and I don't understand that. With the savings I have I could sustain a pretty high burn rate for quite a while without touching SS. Furthermore lots of my savings is not in IRA/401K, which means I can withdraw it and stay in a 0-tax bracket for the first...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

Best wishes to you for a long and healthy life. I would suggest that you start collecting social security retirement benefits as soon as you are eligible (age 62). See, I was thinking just the opposite. My thinking was to delay SS as long as possible. By doing that I could use it as possible insura...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

What do you currently spend/year? If are happy today living on $50,000/year, I don't see and issue of ramping up the bun rate to $150,000/year for the next 7 years and spending about half of have saved thus far. You asked more about spending/burn rate, knowing what you need today will help. Earlier...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

I'm sorry to hear about your illness and admire you greatly for already planning new adventures. I'm not certain what you mean about how to think about "stuff like this financially." Do you mean immediate retirement, financing your travel, or costs of medical treatment, or house sale, por...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Re: Rather macabre but necessary question

Consider a cruise to Antarctica. A cruise to Antarctica is absolutely on my "bucket list", but for purposes of this question I'd like to stick to the financial planning aspects of this. It's true that, as another poster observed, I can't rule out a miracle cure after I've blown through my...
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Rather macabre but necessary question

I'm 61 and still working (for the moment) and I recently received some grim medical news. I have polythycemia vera, a condition where your bone marrow produces an extreme excess of red blood cells. It's incurable and invariably fatal although with treatment it can be held in abeyance for some years....
by plnelson
Tue Sep 09, 2014 12:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rather macabre but necessary question
Replies: 72
Views: 5342

Re: Can I buy insurance against bank failure?

Access Multi-Million-Dollar FDIC Insurance CDARS® – the Certificate of Deposit Account Registry Service® – is the most convenient way to access FDIC insurance on multi-million-dollar CD deposits and to earn CD-level rates, which often compare favorably to Treasuries and money market mutual funds. M...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:51 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I buy insurance against bank failure?
Replies: 12
Views: 1009

Can I buy insurance against bank failure?

OK, this is a weird question but here's the deal: I have lots of money in CD's and finding good CD deals is hard and I'm very particular about what I'm looking for. It would also simplify my life if I can deal with as few institutions as possible. The problem is that I'm forced to spread my CD holdi...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I buy insurance against bank failure?
Replies: 12
Views: 1009

How do I find bump-up/raise-your-rate" IRA CDs?

I have a pile of retirement (tax-deferred) cash that I want to put into 2-5 year CD's ladder-wise. But because rates are low and may go up during that time I'd like to put them into CD's that have an option to raise your rate if rates go up. For example Ally Bank offer 2-year CD's where you can rais...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do I find bump-up/raise-your-rate" IRA CDs?
Replies: 0
Views: 157

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

By contrast, a brokered CD is like a bond in terms of interest-rate risk, and large bid/ask spreads make it worse (compared to treasuries). The value of your CD could drop by much more than 1% if rates rise much in the near future I've never bought a CD through a broker before so this could be an i...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 11, 2014 2:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

I am sure that you are aware that expectations are already built into current rates, so that timing your purchase is just as likely to backfire. I'm talking about the second-derivative. I'm aware the current rates reflect current expectations. I'm expecting that it's the expectations that will go u...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 11, 2014 1:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

You don't liquidate assets to convert to Roth. Perhaps what you mean is that you want to be sure the CD is divisible for conversion purposes. I believe that is the case for brokered CDs. I wasn't going to buy one CD. There's about $200K in this pile of cash, so I thought I would maybe buy five $40K...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

I have a bunch of five year CDs at credit unions. . . . Thanks, but my PS was just background information. My QUESTION is on what basis should I select between different brokered CD's? Since they're all FDIC insured the main differentiator seems to be interest rate for a given term. Also, if it hel...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?

As a consequence of inheriting some of my late wife's IRA's I find myself with a couple hundred thousand dollars in my Fidelity IRA brokerage account - in cash, specifically their money market fund, which essentially pays no interest. This money has a short time horizon - I expect to retire next yea...
by plnelson
Thu Jul 10, 2014 7:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing brokered CD's- what should I look at?
Replies: 17
Views: 1693

Re: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .

Second, even though you did not move and were not difficult to locate, a notice might have been missed - and the funds were "escheated" to the state (state law applies in matters of "escheatment" or "abandoned property", even for a federal credit union). Since, as I un...
by plnelson
Tue Jun 24, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .
Replies: 27
Views: 3830

Re: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .

State law usually says if they cannot touch base with an account holder for X years, then the money escheats to the state. States now maintain web sites to look up money that they have from these places. Did you check those web sites? Google "unclaimed property" and you will get links. I ...
by plnelson
Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .
Replies: 27
Views: 3830

Re: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .

Her Social Security number be a better search term at those businesses, but if she was a careful person, she would have transferred the accounts. If she was no longer receiving annual statements, I doubt that the accounts are still open. When money is involved most people do submit a forwarding add...
by plnelson
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .
Replies: 27
Views: 3830

Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .

My wife passed away two years ago and I'm the executor and sole beneficiary of her will, and as I was going through some of her papers I found an old form 2315 for the Hewlett Packard Family Federal Credit Union for an IRA contribution in the amount of $2000. It's dated April 14, 1992 and says that ...
by plnelson
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Found an old deposit receipt for my late wife . . .
Replies: 27
Views: 3830

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

Use an individual 401(k). I can't quite parse this. Fidelity calls their product a Keogh, Vanguard calls theirs a "Solo" 401(k), so I'm not sure which one you mean by "individual". Vanguard's has a Roth option Fidelity doesn't. Total for you is $52K, including up to $17.5K in Ro...
by plnelson
Mon May 26, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

OK, I think I understand better. You want to: 1) contribute max to retirement accounts 2) shift money into Roth accounts 3) get the most tax deductions while balancing the desire to shift money into Roth. Correct. Keep in mind that money can be put into Roth via contributions or conversions. IMO, t...
by plnelson
Mon May 26, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

It sounds like my big mistake was to go with Fidelity in the first place, since they don't have a Roth: let this be an object lesson for other Bogleheads. No, Roth 401k is not a good option for you if you are unwilling to give up the tax deduction. If you contribute 23K to Roth 401k, you're giving ...
by plnelson
Sat May 24, 2014 1:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

pnelson, if you have to wait a couple of years to transfer your Fidelity SE 401k to Vanguard I401k, you can approximate a Roth 401k contribution in your Fidelity plan if you have IRA assets say in a Rollover IRA or other pre-tax account: 1) Contribute 23K Traditional employee salary deferral to Fid...
by plnelson
Sat May 24, 2014 12:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

The two year rule is for an ongoing plan. You can't distribute employer contributed funds or roll them over until those dollars have been in the plan for 2 years, assuming a plan even allows for this. But there's no problem with the current situation. It sounds like you want to 'restate' the Fideli...
by plnelson
Fri May 23, 2014 11:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

pnelson, if you have to wait a couple of years to transfer your Fidelity SE 401k to Vanguard I401k, you can approximate a Roth 401k contribution in your Fidelity plan if you have IRA assets say in a Rollover IRA or other pre-tax account: 1) Contribute 23K Traditional employee salary deferral to Fid...
by plnelson
Fri May 23, 2014 11:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Multiple Plans are fine under the Code & Regs,

Note that even if a plan is as liberal as the distribution rules allow, rollovers out of the new plan can't be done sooner than 2 years for the employer funds and age 59 1/2 for the employee contributed funds. Yikes!! So how does that work in practice?! Vanguard told me I could transfer my Fidelity...
by plnelson
Fri May 23, 2014 8:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

I believe the employee was correct. Any employer including the self-employed can only have one 401k plan at a time. You are probably confusing the fact that an employee can participate in more than one plan with the employee deferral limit shared amongst the plans. . Yes, this is also what Vanguard...
by plnelson
Fri May 23, 2014 8:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Re: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

My Fidelity Self Employed 401k is called a Profit Sharing Keogh when I logon to fidelity's web site. I don't think you can use two 401k plans (1 at Fidelity and another at Vanguard) simultaneously. I think you would need to keep what you have or switch to a different plan all together. I don't know...
by plnelson
Mon May 19, 2014 1:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh

I'm self-employed as a software engineer. I currently have a profit-sharing Keogh with Fidelity and in the last tax year I contributed the maximum I was allowed including the "catch-up" + additional profit sharing money for a total of $30k. This year I'd like to open up a Roth 401(k). Fide...
by plnelson
Sun May 18, 2014 11:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Solo Roth 401(k) + Keogh
Replies: 26
Views: 1278

Employer profit sharing rules on a Keough?

I'm a self-employed software contractor and last year I set up a profit sharing Keough with Fidelity at the beginning of 2013. I'm 61 so I'm eligible for the "catch up" provision for my own contributions $17.5K + $5.5K = $23K, so I did that. But I'm unclear on the profit sharing contributi...
by plnelson
Wed Apr 09, 2014 7:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer profit sharing rules on a Keough?
Replies: 1
Views: 151

Re: We're not in an Equity Bubble

Is anyone positive about state of the U.S. economy and economic growth? Everyone seems to be forecasting low real GDP growth, like 2% p.a. I am an outlier and extremely positive about the U.S. economy over the next decade and have been for a couple years. The strength the economy has shown so far c...
by plnelson
Wed Nov 20, 2013 10:12 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: We're not in an Equity Bubble
Replies: 61
Views: 6953

Re: who here is tempted to pullback on stocks?

I know that bogleheads do not time the market. This thread isn't for you, or the "stay the course" comments. I know that, i get that, and I live that. My question is simply - if you are tempted to take profits and shift some to cash, are you going to do it or are you going to resist? I am...
by plnelson
Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: who here is tempted to pullback on stocks?
Replies: 104
Views: 8267

Re: Screening Questions . . . [What companies sell this info

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (personal info). I retitled the thread. The other question: Screening Questions . . . [Who compiles this information?] Maybe it's because you moved what was obviously an investment-related thread ( " Are there any "pure plays" ...
by plnelson
Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Screening Questions . . . [What companies sell this info?]
Replies: 3
Views: 314

Screening Questions . . . [What companies sell this info?]

Moderator N.B. - I have a related question on another thread but it is A DIFFERENT QUESTION as you can see if you read to the end . . . Yesterday I called up GE Capital Bank to buy some CD's. I've never done any business with them before so after getting the basics like address and SS number they as...
by plnelson
Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Screening Questions . . . [What companies sell this info?]
Replies: 3
Views: 314

Screening Questions . . . [Who compiles this information?]

Moderator N.B. - I have a related question on another thread but it is A DIFFERENT QUESTION as you can see if you read to the end . . . Yesterday I called up GE Capital Bank to buy some CD's. I've never done any business with them before so after getting the basics like address and SS number they as...
by plnelson
Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Screening Questions . . . [Who compiles this information?]
Replies: 4
Views: 513

Re: What does this event from Fidelity mean?

tludwig23 wrote:In this case, FTC refers to Fitch, a credit rating agency (like Moody's or S&P).



Good. That makes more sense. Very sensible of Fitch, I wonder what the other ratings agencies are waiting for?

Thanks!
by plnelson
Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:56 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does this event from Fidelity mean?
Replies: 2
Views: 715

What does this event from Fidelity mean?

Through a Fidelity brokerage account I have a wide variety of bond holdings and I regularly receive events and notifications about them - usually announcements about impending maturity and that sort of thing. N.B. I'm talking about actual individual securities, not bond funds . Among my holdings are...
by plnelson
Wed Oct 16, 2013 12:24 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What does this event from Fidelity mean?
Replies: 2
Views: 715

Re: If ratings are puffery then how to rate bonds?

Would this be an issue with an index fund? Maybe better just to stick with Treasuries. Index funds, like all bond funds, have interest rate risk, and I used to just buy Treasuries until they lost their AAA rating. :D But I want to stick to my question which is still this - here we have Standard and...
by plnelson
Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:55 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If ratings are puffery then how to rate bonds?
Replies: 13
Views: 984

Re: Credit Cards vs Debit Cards

frugaltype wrote:
Fclevz wrote:I use cash so it's harder for the NSA to track me* ;)

Cheers,
Fred


I'm no longer using return address labels on postal mail :-)


I no longer back up my computer data - if I have a hard drive crash I just file a FOIA and get it from the NSA. :mrgreen:
by plnelson
Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards vs Debit Cards
Replies: 54
Views: 3413

Re: Credit Cards vs Debit Cards

ER2023 wrote:I'm surprised at how much cash back some of you are getting - sounds almost too good to be true - but I'm sure the companies are still profiting from those not paying balance every month.


They're profiting from the merchant fees, regardless of whether cardhodlers pay off in full every month.
by plnelson
Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards vs Debit Cards
Replies: 54
Views: 3413

Re: Credit Cards vs Debit Cards

Only have one credit card and opened it over 25 years ago through employer. I hardly ever use it unless I really need to (traveling for example) - but mostly use debit card. I'm now thinking about looking at what other options are out there - where you receive cash back, points on things, etc., and...
by plnelson
Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Cards vs Debit Cards
Replies: 54
Views: 3413

If ratings are puffery then how to rate bonds?

Note to moderator: I'm not trying to start a topic on news or politics - this is a question about the best way to assess bond risk. I buy individual bonds structured into a bond and CD ladder mainly as a sort of a very long-term rainy day fund. I hold them to maturity so there's no interest-rate ri...
by plnelson
Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:48 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If ratings are puffery then how to rate bonds?
Replies: 13
Views: 984

Re: Why/how such big disparities in CD rates?

Why wait in the bank lobby? Spend a few minutes downloading a transfer form from a credit union website and a stamp mailing it in. Write, Hi, NSA next to the stamp. As a side note, you wouldn't believe the carrying on I see when I suggest credit unions to some people. They seem to think they're bei...
by plnelson
Mon Jul 08, 2013 12:33 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why/how such big disparities in CD rates?
Replies: 20
Views: 2225

Why/how such big disparities in CD rates?

I have a lot of accounts with Bank of America - a business account, a trust account, a bunch of saving and checking accounts, and a bunch of CD's I took out years ago when rates were higher. One of the CD's is coming due now and I was looking of BofA's rates and I noticed that they're dramatically l...
by plnelson
Sun Jul 07, 2013 3:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why/how such big disparities in CD rates?
Replies: 20
Views: 2225

Re: TIPS question

You got it. TIPS are good at capturing unexpected inflation. Expected inflation ... no big deal. And what about deflation? So what does the research say about how accurate the "expected" inflation estimates have been? Only months ago 10 year Treasuries were 1.7%; now they're 2.7% (and les...
by plnelson
Fri Jul 05, 2013 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: TIPS question
Replies: 12
Views: 1318

Re: Installing lightning rods - who, how much?

Any decent electrical shop could put together a lightening rod package for your home. Or if you are handy you could do it yourself and save some money. I want it NFPA 780 -compliant - there's too much riding on getting it right. (not to mention a discount on my HO insurance) Keep in mind the number...
by plnelson
Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing lightning rods - who, how much?
Replies: 19
Views: 1280

Re: Installing lightning rods - who, how much?

user5027 wrote:Try google. lightning rods massachusetts


I did. The only places I could find were very far away. That's why I wanted to know if only dedicated lightning rod installers did this sort of work.
by plnelson
Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing lightning rods - who, how much?
Replies: 19
Views: 1280

Installing lightning rods - who, how much?

Recently a house in the town next to mine suffered severe damage from a fire resulting from a lightning strike. I've always worried about this because my house is on the very top of the 2nd highest hill in my town in Massachusetts. So I've looked in the yellow pages and I can't find anything about i...
by plnelson
Tue Jun 18, 2013 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Installing lightning rods - who, how much?
Replies: 19
Views: 1280

Re: Guaranteed to Need Repair in 3-5 Years

I think the salesman was just trying to sell you on an extended warranty. Any company with that sort of planned obsolescence would quickly develop a bad rep for quality and would be crushed in the marketplace. My (EnergyStar-rated) Kenmore refrigerator was bought in 1998 and has never needed any ser...
by plnelson
Tue Jun 18, 2013 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guaranteed to Need Repair in 3-5 Years
Replies: 31
Views: 3041
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