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Re: Intimidated by Trustee and Investment Advisor

I'm not a lawyer but have had to deal with a trust when my father died. My mother was the trustee and the financial advisor was Edward Jones. I don't particularly like Edward Jones fee structure but they at least were totally professional and transparent about the investments and who owned them. IMO...
by tractorguy
Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:59 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Intimidated by Trustee and Investment Advisor
Replies: 23
Views: 2543

Re: Which kind of bike for recent retiree?

There are so many bike styles out there because each one appeals to a different kind of rider. We have many bike shops along the Fox River trail (western Chicago Suburb) that let you rent bikes for a day to ride on the trail. If I were just getting restarted, I'd probably rent one and take it out fo...
by tractorguy
Mon Jul 21, 2014 12:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which kind of bike for recent retiree?
Replies: 48
Views: 2465

Re: Buying a camper

We had a pop up trailer for 5 years when our children were younger. Took it everyplace from Florida to Idaho and I can't say that I ever felt that set up times were too much of an issue. It was usually a dead heat between me getting the trailer torn down in the morning and my spouse getting the 4 gi...
by tractorguy
Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a camper
Replies: 26
Views: 2430

Re: Allstate's Drivewise Program

I've been using drivewise for a few years. I save 13% on my car (which I use for about 6500 miles/year), pay full rates on spouses car which we put 16500 miles on per year. As the other poster said, Drivewise monitors mileage, hard braking, events of speed over 80, and time of day you're driving. My...
by tractorguy
Tue Jul 15, 2014 4:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Allstate's Drivewise Program
Replies: 3
Views: 673

Re: Two month car rental

I rented a Cruze for 3 weeks in California. I wouldn't do it again. My back started hurting the second day of driving and didn't stop until I was home for 3 days. The seats don't have any lower back support and I couldn't get it adjusted to get comfortable. I talked to a neighbor who used to be a GM...
by tractorguy
Wed Jul 02, 2014 5:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two month car rental
Replies: 28
Views: 1896

Re: US citizens abroad cannot invest through a US brokerage

I lived abroad from 1998-2008. This is not new. At that time, I had to maintain a U.S. mailing address (not a PO box) that was the address of record for all my accounts with Vanguard, Fidelity, & Schwab. I never asked the firms why I needed a U.S. postal address but I'm guessing that they are no...
by tractorguy
Wed Jul 02, 2014 11:22 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US citizens abroad cannot invest through [Fidelity]
Replies: 94
Views: 7096

Re: Reliable car for a long commute

Find a car that has seats that fit her. You may need to rent one for a couple of days and take some longer (several hour) test drives to judge this. For long trips, we've opted for 6 way power seats with lumbar adjustment. I tried Honda and the seats just didn't fit me. We've settled on a Camry LXE ...
by tractorguy
Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reliable car for a long commute
Replies: 19
Views: 809

Re: Great long-term reliability data for used cars

Reliability (Which I define as it always starts, everything fits properly, and everything works for the first five years) and Durability (How long it keeps running before it gets too expensive to repair) are not the same thing. The web site referenced in this string is all about Durability. JD Power...
by tractorguy
Sun Jun 15, 2014 9:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Great long-term reliability data for used cars
Replies: 3
Views: 563

Re: Young boglehead: Materials science, chemE, or mechE for

You should check the prerequisites for the courses you will need to get a masters in the degree options you are considering. Engineers typically take more math than chemistry majors are required to. They also take courses (structural mechanics, etc.) that are unique to engineering. I think you will ...
by tractorguy
Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young boglehead: Materials science, chemE, or mechE for grad
Replies: 28
Views: 1927

Re: Mistake: extra dirt

Keep the dirt, don't pay the supplier. It's their mistake. If they wanted you to pay for it, they would have said so (and I would have refused). My experience with dirt is that it will be no problem making a couple of extra yards disappear in the garden and yard. It will just be a little extra work ...
by tractorguy
Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mistake: extra dirt
Replies: 24
Views: 2165

Re: does frugality result in lower career ambition?

I think there may be correlation between spending style and career ambition but I don't think its cause and affect. IMOP, they are both the result of a particular outlook on life. I've known many highly competitive people who are ambitious for bigger job titles and also spend a lot on big, expensive...
by tractorguy
Mon Jun 02, 2014 3:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: does frugality result in lower career ambition?
Replies: 113
Views: 8316

Re: Medical Residency Retirement - Why don't we get a match?

Disclaimer; I've never worked in a hospital and don't know anything about their cost and pay structure. However, I was trained as an engineer (another discipline that trains its practitioners to focus on quality and doesn't talk much about business realities in school). In my career, I spent enough ...
by tractorguy
Mon Jun 02, 2014 10:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medical Residency Retirement - Why don't we get a match?
Replies: 57
Views: 3342

Re: Appreciated Securities...Concentrated Positions Question

I don't think its super critical to sell right now (at 7%, this is a large but not overly so part of your portfolio). If you've been re-investing dividends, then you may have some short term gains. I'd hold those for a year to convert them to long term and then sell. Its a bit of a toss up if you wa...
by tractorguy
Thu May 29, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Appreciated Securities...Concentrated Positions Questions
Replies: 7
Views: 429

Re: declining job due to travel

As others have said, you need to decide what you want out of life and what you'd be happy with as a career 5/10/15 years from now. I'd also think about what you want to be doing when the kids are older and don't need all of the quality time with Dad. I've got a lot of friends in engineering that are...
by tractorguy
Fri May 23, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: declining job due to travel
Replies: 92
Views: 8936

Re: How to Attack Wife's Student Loans

You don't say what the interest rate is on the loans. My approach to them would be dependent on this. If its low, (< about 4%), I'd probably pay them off in 12 months or so. If its higher than 4%, I'd pick the highest rate loan, pay it off now, and then make payments on the other one while the emerg...
by tractorguy
Thu May 22, 2014 5:01 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to Attack Wife's Student Loans
Replies: 25
Views: 1865

Re: Buy house or car first?

I'm in agreement with your husband. I would not exhaust my emergency fund by spending every penny I have on a house down payment when I know that I have a possible big bill coming in the form of a car repair or down payment on a replacement. I would also never spend all I have on a down payment in g...
by tractorguy
Wed May 21, 2014 10:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy house or car first?
Replies: 6
Views: 745

Re: Factoring TLH Into Decision Whether To Use An Advisor

Livesoft pointed out the possible benefit of... tax-loss harvesting now could shift the future long-term capital gains tax for this individual from 20% to 0% . How likely is this to really happen? To pay a 20% long term capital gain, the tax payer would have to be in the 39.6% federal bracket (incom...
by tractorguy
Mon May 19, 2014 3:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Factoring TLH Into Decision Whether To Use An Advisor
Replies: 34
Views: 1288

Re: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?

I've no experience replacing a furnace of this age but speaking as an engineer, I'd ask the contractor why he wants to replace them. Unless you have noticed problems with balance (ie some rooms don't get warm while others are too hot), are buying a new furnace that has a much higher capacity blower,...
by tractorguy
Mon May 19, 2014 1:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should we have new ducts installed with our new a/c?
Replies: 19
Views: 1044

Re: I have too much for retirement???

The 4% safe withdrawal rate assumes that you are only going to need to draw down the account for 30 years. If you are going to retire early or live long, you'll need a bit more. A withdrawal rate somewhere around 3% or less is probably the threshold for having enough money to live on safely for esse...
by tractorguy
Mon May 19, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I have too much for retirement???
Replies: 35
Views: 5690

Re: New PC - Buy Office or use free alternatives

I was in your situation 3 years ago. I switched to LibreOffice for all on my non-email activities and Google's web interface for e-mail. I haven't had any reason to switch back. My Windows 7 laptop came pre-installed with the de-featured version of Office (I think its called the "starter" ...
by tractorguy
Mon May 19, 2014 9:58 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New PC - Buy Office or use free alternatives
Replies: 29
Views: 1991

Re: Replace Gas Guzzler with Toyota Prius Lease?

I'm with several other posters. A lease is hardly ever a good financial deal for you. Its a great financial deal for the car dealer (which is why there are so many ads for them). Your financial calculations should take into account the residual value of the car you are driving at the end of the leas...
by tractorguy
Fri May 16, 2014 10:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Replace Gas Guzzler with Toyota Prius Lease?
Replies: 24
Views: 1824

Re: Need Portfolio Advice - Already Retired [UK / US]

I was thinking today about your withdrawal rate and want to backtrack slightly on my comment about 3% probably being OK. The study that everybody references that says about 4% is "safe" assumed that you were increasing your withdrawals at the rate of inflation every year. However, since yo...
by tractorguy
Thu May 15, 2014 12:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Portfolio Advice - Already Retired [UK / US]
Replies: 11
Views: 805

Re: Need Portfolio Advice - Already Retired [UK / US]

I am also a recent retiree (3 years & counting) who has been a do it yourself investor for 15 years now. I'll give you my opinions on your questions but I'm not an expert by any means. 1. Looks to me that I should only need a 3% withdrawal rate even if my pension vanishes. Do you agree and does ...
by tractorguy
Wed May 14, 2014 12:07 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Portfolio Advice - Already Retired [UK / US]
Replies: 11
Views: 805

Re: Investing in the Frey!! Please HELP

You're doing much better than I was at your age (and for 10 years after!!!). The most important thing for someone starting out is to START!. Which you have done. Put your money in a low cost, broad index mutual fund. If you're not sure what to do, one of the retirement target date funds like Vanguar...
by tractorguy
Mon May 12, 2014 10:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my 401k boat Setting Sail for FAIL??
Replies: 31
Views: 1533

Re: eBook Readers and EPUB files?

I've had a Kindle Touch for about 2 1/2 years. I mostly use it to read library books although I've bought a few and my children have given me some. I think the Touch is similar to the Paperwhite but without an illuminated screen. If I were buying it now, I'd get the Paperwhite. As others have said, ...
by tractorguy
Fri May 09, 2014 4:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: eBook Readers and EPUB files?
Replies: 22
Views: 1282

Re: Should I move my portfolio?

I'm not as experienced as many who post here but here is my 2 cents worth. Re the 0.3% advisor fee. I consider this high. You could just roll the retirement focused investments into a Vanguard all in one fund such as VTIVX (Target retirement 2045). It is currently running a 90/10 stock/bond allocati...
by tractorguy
Tue May 06, 2014 11:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I move my portfolio?
Replies: 10
Views: 580

Re: Trying to decide between current job and a job offer

You don't say how much increased the new job was over the salary you used to have at your current employer. If your current employer can match the offer quickly, then I'm going to guess that it wasn't a big enough increase to cover the increased risk of moving. Any new job is a risk that the chemist...
by tractorguy
Mon May 05, 2014 5:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to decide between current job and a job offer
Replies: 7
Views: 800

Re: No More Oil Based Paint?

You can still get oil based paint in Illinois but it is very pricy. Off the street price for a gallon of industrial grade oil based paint is about $62.00. A "premium" latex base from the same manufacturer is running in the $40's. My local paint dealer and an expert who used to develop pain...
by tractorguy
Fri May 02, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No More Oil Based Paint?
Replies: 6
Views: 827

Re: Trying to pick the lesser of two evils (ETN vs Active fu

What's an ETN? Do you mean an Exchange traded fund (ETF)? I assume that TER means total expense ratio? I would normally go for the lowest total cost but active traded funds can suffer from mission creep as their traders try to predict the market. You don't want to set your allocation to x% foreign a...
by tractorguy
Fri May 02, 2014 9:42 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Trying to pick the lesser of two evils (ETN vs Active funds)
Replies: 10
Views: 731

Re: How do you walk away from a good job?

For me, the trigger was losing a good friend to cancer when I was 57. He was in his mid 40's, in wonderful shape, when he was diagnosed with melanoma. He only survived for a year after they found it. This was a wake up call for me. I enjoyed my job and always had in the back of my mind that I'd stay...
by tractorguy
Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you walk away from a good job?
Replies: 38
Views: 5380

Re: Cost to change struts in lexus

If you haven't done so already, you should find a good mechanic that you can trust and have him quote it. Ask around at work and also your neighbors. I have a local guy who's repeatedly told me that something I asked him about didn't need anything (ie passed up a chance to soak me). He's about 2/3 t...
by tractorguy
Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost to change struts in lexus
Replies: 12
Views: 2119

Re: Pay ahead on my mortgage vs max-out Roth

Another vote for the Roth. You've got a mortgage interest rate that is very very low by historical standards (the mortgage on my second house had an 11% rate that was 6% under market!!!). Over the time span of your loan, interest rates may go up or stay the same but are unlikely to go much lower. Ov...
by tractorguy
Tue Apr 29, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay ahead on my mortgage vs max-out Roth
Replies: 8
Views: 1821

Re: work 3 years for 20x payout or retire and wait 10 years

You don't give enough information to have a meaningful opinion on your options. What is the source of this lump some payment and what is the risk that it may be significantly devalued (as go to zero) in 3-10 years? If it is a stock option, many on this board would give it zero value in all of their ...
by tractorguy
Sat Apr 26, 2014 12:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: work 3 years for 20x payout or retire and wait 10 years
Replies: 11
Views: 1618

Re: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Movin

+1 on figuring out what you want to do before you quit. I've known a few people who've had successful mid life career changes and all of them set a goal and then did what was necessary (additional schooling, apprenticeships, etc) to move towards it. The people I know who jumped from place to place w...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:20 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell Me I'm Stupid To Consider Quitting My Job and Moving
Replies: 123
Views: 27385

Re: Please explain a 3% SWR to me

The problem with all of the SWR calculations is that they are trying to take a statistical calculation of the location of a point on the tail of a random distribution curve and apply it to a specific case. It will not make you happy if 97.8% of the people who have used a 4% inflation adjusted withdr...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 24, 2014 11:02 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Please explain a 3% SWR to me
Replies: 92
Views: 22594

Re: True Crypt - Possible Security Problems

I am NOT an expert. However, I do know that my old megacorp set up all laptops so that the entire hard disc was encrypted. If this is done, the paging file, and any disc dumps are encrypted. RAM is cleared when your computer is turned off, so in theory, a thief would need to have your password or an...
by tractorguy
Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: True Crypt - Possible Security Problems
Replies: 14
Views: 1699

Re: Losing job-financial advice

+1 on use any medical benefits from current job before they go away +1 on get your house ready for sale NOW. I would be highly concerned if it is more expensive than others in the area. That will limit potential buyers. If you wait for the last minute, you may have to sell under market in order to a...
by tractorguy
Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing job-financial advice
Replies: 18
Views: 1997

Re: TurboTax defunct?

Note: To qualify for the Vanguard discount, you must access your TurboTax® Online return from this page each time you log on to continue or finish your work. I didn't see that note. I logged into Turbotax from Vanguard once to start my return (and select the level of service) but every time afterwa...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 17, 2014 10:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax defunct?
Replies: 15
Views: 1926

Re: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum

Reason 11: In at least one state (Illinois), payments from a qualified pension are exempt from state income tax with no limits. I haven't looked in other states but I think some may have a similar provisions with limits. I took the pension and haven't looked back. I've got significant other taxable ...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 10 Reasons to take your pension annuity over a lump sum
Replies: 34
Views: 5191

Re: Job taking us from Chicago to Australia.. questions

I was an expat in the UK and Japan. I'd think twice about keeping the house in the U.S. You may find that you really like the expat life and move on to another assignment somewhere else. My 3 year stint overseas ended up being 10. Of the expats I worked with, only a minority kept their U.S. homes. M...
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 16, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job taking us from Chicago to Australia.. questions
Replies: 16
Views: 1289

Re: Old, large account - move it to index and take big tax h

According to Morningstar, PHBLX is a 2 star fund with a 5.75% load and a 1.1% expense ratio. (see here: http://quotes.morningstar.com/fund/phblx/f?t=PHBLX ). Stop re-investing dividends immediately!!! Every time you reinvest, you're paying 5 3/4% to buy more of a fund that is under-performing its pe...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:33 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old, large account - move it to index and take big tax hit?
Replies: 40
Views: 2750

Re: House too small; what to do?

You are getting a lot of Bogleish, "save money at any cost" by remodeling or live with it replies. My advice is the opposite. If you can afford it, move now so that you can make the transition while the children are young. The older they are, the more disruptive it is for them and the hard...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 13, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House too small; what to do?
Replies: 38
Views: 3474

Re: Mutual Fund from Edward Jones to Vanguard

I just did a quick google search for Edward Jones Advisory solutions and find it very interesting that I can't find anything that explicitly tells me what this account has in it. Near as I can tell, its probably a mix of the funds and maybe stocks and bonds that EJ will sell you that is tilted towar...
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:13 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mutual Fund from Edward Jones to Vanguard
Replies: 16
Views: 1591

Re: Retirees: About your retirement

I had always planned to retire sometime between 62 and 65 because that was "normal." Work was fun and exciting and I got opportunities to work overseas. This was all goodness. Then, two things happened in early 2008. First a close friend was diagnosed with Melanoma in his mid 40's and pass...
by tractorguy
Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: About your retirement
Replies: 55
Views: 6004

Re: Switching from Full-Time Career to Contractor - Pros/Con

Depending on your benefits, you need 30-40% more take home pay as a contractor just to break even with a good engineering job. In addition to the items you've identified, your company also pays its share of social security, workman's compensation insurance, and unemployment insurance. If you get the...
by tractorguy
Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from Full-Time Career to Contractor - Pros/Cons?
Replies: 14
Views: 851

Re: Help with frustrating investment issue (family involved)

Three primary rules for investing are: 1)Don't buy anything you don't understand, 2) Don't invest with family; 3) Don't mix life insurance and investing. You broke all three. You have no dependents so why do you need life insurance? It's usually bought by people who have dependents that will need co...
by tractorguy
Mon Mar 03, 2014 12:50 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with frustrating investment issue (family involved)
Replies: 26
Views: 2295

Re: Be careful with Turbotax [Importing data from Vanguard]

I imported both my Vanguard and Vanguard brokerage data with few issues. The import put all my holdings as solely held & I had to change them to joint. I also had to add state tax info for my state tax form. Despite these small issues, IMOP, downloading is easier and more accurate than manual en...
by tractorguy
Sun Mar 02, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Be careful with Turbotax [Importing data from Vanguard]
Replies: 20
Views: 2671

Re: Turbo Tax or tax pro because I'm lost

I used a Cpa last year and turbotax this. My time investment was about the same. In both cases I had to pull together all my paperwork for both. The CPA gave me a paper form to fill out that took as least as long as answering turbotax's questions.
by tractorguy
Sat Feb 22, 2014 6:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax or tax pro because I'm lost
Replies: 13
Views: 1192

Re: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu

+1 on asking your higher up friend about work life balance. However, my experience at a megacorp is that it can vary widely by department. Even within the same department it can change when there is a top management shuffle. The division vice-president seemed to set expectations for his direct repor...
by tractorguy
Thu Feb 20, 2014 12:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu
Replies: 177
Views: 30866

Re: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.

+1 on finishing the Masters and then start looking. I wouldn't wait until the end of the 1 year period for the tuition re-imbursement payback though. First, it takes time to find a good job. My son in law (in a similar situation) interviewed for about a month and then took another month to negotiate...
by tractorguy
Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stay for pay, or leave for growth? Seeking opinions.
Replies: 14
Views: 1220
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