Search found 64 matches

by A440
Sat Sep 30, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REITs as "pseudo diversification"
Replies: 44
Views: 3631

Re: REITs as "pseudo diversification"

Agreed. I am holding it Short-term as our only individual stock, until I can find another investment that pays 10% or more. It has a very low allocation in our taxable holdings. BTW, the investment is up 15% YTD. We've held it for a little over 5 years. The price goes up and down, but the dividend i...
by A440
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: REITs as "pseudo diversification"
Replies: 44
Views: 3631

Re: REITs as "pseudo diversification"

We hold about 10% Vanguard REIT index as part of our diversified Roth portfolio. We purchased a single MREIT (Mortgage REIT) stock, TWO, as an additional way to generate some quarterly dividends to help pay for family vacations. We reinvest capital gains but take dividends from taxable accounts. Aft...
by A440
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do you LBYM? Why do you save and invest?
Replies: 192
Views: 12800

Re: Why do you LBYM? Why do you save and invest?

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:33 pm
I learned to live below my means and invest from my family.
Same here, from older and wiser brother. :happy
Plus, it seems to work for us.
by A440
Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?
Replies: 131
Views: 18258

Re: What age did you become debt free and what opportunities did it create?

Age 38. We sold our rental duplex before child #2 was born. After paying the taxes and tithe we split the profit of the sale in half: paying off our mortgage and putting the rest towards 1st child's 529 plan. The decision to pay off the mortgage vs. investing was made mainly because this was shortly...
by A440
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I've fallen and I can't get up -- recommendations?
Replies: 43
Views: 6216

Re: I've fallen and I can't get up -- recommendations?

Amazon is taking pre-orders for the Amazon Connect, which allows a landline to be used with Echo. Voice-activation calls including 9-1-1 calls are possible.
https://www.engadget.com/2017/09/27/ama ... o-connect/
by A440
Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: NJ Teacher Lost with 403bs
Replies: 30
Views: 3715

Re: NJ Teacher Lost with 403bs

So YES, your fees were excessive! NJ teachers in districts that have Lincoln Investment on the 403b provider list are able to use a very low cost Lincoln plan called Solutions Participant Direct Platform. Please read over this thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=175295 This...
by A440
Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: T-Mobile promotion for 55+
Replies: 84
Views: 8313

Re: T-Mobile promotion for 55+

If you spend most of your time in a free wi-fi area and/or don't need a data plan or the need for too many calls/texts T-Mobile has a $3/month plan for 30 calls/texts a month +.10 for each additional if you go over: https://prepaid-phones.t-mobile.com/pay-as-you-go Both myself and my teen use this p...
by A440
Wed Aug 23, 2017 6:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b)/457 Provider Options
Replies: 5
Views: 481

Re: 403(b)/457 Provider Options

I am a teacher in NJ and always try steer my fellow colleagues away from annuities before the "salespeople" sign them up. We already have two annuities: our pension and Social Security. Normally, we don't need another. If someone needs an annuity in the future, they can take the money that has compo...
by A440
Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: LED light bulbs
Replies: 97
Views: 8652

Re: LED light bulbs

I have seen the future, and it is fun! Expensive, but fun. Agreed! I recently added 5 GE wi-fi connected BR30 dimmable LED type bulbs for a new recessed light project, along with a Wink Hub and a Lutron remote dimmer. The bulbs "talk" to the hub, which in turn "talks" to the Amazon Echo. I set up t...
by A440
Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VGSTX: Is Vanguard STAR Still A Star?
Replies: 22
Views: 3347

Re: VGSTX: Is Vanguard STAR Still A Star?

We've used this fund of funds for our kids custodial accounts since they were born in addition to 529 accounts. If the money in the accounts are needed for college, the STAR fund is a bit less risky than a Total Stock Market fund. If the separate 529's accounts cover the college costs (what?...it co...
by A440
Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Dishwasher Repairs
Replies: 9
Views: 904

Re: DIY Dishwasher Repairs

It's not so much that I enjoy doing the repairs, especially if it involves going into the crawlspace :shock: . But I do enjoy showing the kids how to fix things (hopefully), and like to get them involved with helping Dad with such things. Hopefully they see the satisfaction and value of fixing somet...
by A440
Tue Jul 25, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DIY Dishwasher Repairs
Replies: 9
Views: 904

DIY Dishwasher Repairs

Our 9 year old dishwasher is becoming like an old car. Things keep breaking, but with every fix I become more acclimated with how the thing works. Thankfully, I usually have the time, and YouTube and online repair sites have the directions to fix these issues when they present themselves. So today i...
by A440
Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 403b Changes
Replies: 119
Views: 10781

Re: Vanguard 403b Changes

FWIW, Sorry if this has already been discussed... I called Vanguard about the letter and had my questions/concerns answered. 1- Does this only affect the 403(b)7 I hold at Vanguard, or does it also affect the account I use for my current deductions through our Board approved vendor (in my case, Linc...
by A440
Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard 403b Changes
Replies: 119
Views: 10781

Re: Vanguard 403b Changes

[quote="Pajamas"]I got the same letter from Vanguard yesterday about a 403(b) from a former employer. Currently the fees on my account are $15 a year, which I believe is per fund, and the new fees are going to be $60 a year. The fund I hold in the account does not have Admiral shares, so there is no...
by A440
Fri May 19, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VTIAX and Portfolio Watch
Replies: 2
Views: 391

VTIAX and Portfolio Watch

Anyone know why VTIAX doesn't show up on Portfolio Watch as a Large-Cap holding when looking under Stock Analysis/Market Capitalization? I contacted Vanguard and they said this issue was corrected, but it still exists. I'd like to re-balance soon and would like to get an accurate idea of where to bu...
by A440
Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable
Replies: 153
Views: 18302

Re: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable

"The problems surface when people replace self worth with net worth."


Don't think Less of your self...Think of your self Less. :)
by A440
Sat Mar 04, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable
Replies: 153
Views: 18302

Re: Possibly Financially Independent and Feeling Miserable

John D. Rockefeller, an Ohio native, started Standard Oil. Rockefeller was at one point the world’s richest man and first ever American billionaire. Considering he was a billionaire in the early 1900’s he is still considered as the richest person in modern history. When a reporter asked him, “How mu...
by A440
Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs Term-Life policy
Replies: 11
Views: 1023

Re: Pension options vs Term-Life policy

You should thank Chris Christie for strengthening your pension plan. Very few (if any) private pensions offer COLA and free retirement health care. Welcome to the real world. I agree with other recommendations to leave high cost of living state like NJ for a lower tax rate state in the South. Sorry...
by A440
Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs Term-Life policy
Replies: 11
Views: 1023

Pension options vs Term-Life policy

At age 55 I can start my teacher pension, should I wish to retire from teaching. The formula would by years of service/55 times average of 3 highest years of salary. Let's suppose my years of service is 27 and my average final salary is $96,000. In this example my Max pension amount would be: 27/55=...
by A440
Tue Jan 17, 2017 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Discount Code for TaxAct?
Replies: 2
Views: 1024

Discount Code for TaxAct?

Wow, the price of TaxAct this year really went up dramatically. I admit, I wasn't an early bird and did not order early (lesson learned). I see I can get back 7.5% if I order through Ebates. Or, I can get 20% off if I call the vendor and place an order over the phone, but I'd rather order through Eb...
by A440
Sat Jan 14, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."
Replies: 153
Views: 32930

Re: "Why 97% of People Don't Use 529 College Savings Plans."

I just read this article which has a tidbit about the GAO report on these plans. Basically, the answer to the question posed in the title is simple: 97% of people are not wealthy enough. Also missing from the article was the mantra that a family should not contribute to a 529 plan unless they have ...
by A440
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best credit card for cash back
Replies: 104
Views: 19934

Re: Best credit card for cash back

Alto Astral wrote:Amex Blue - Cashback


I agree, unless you are spending outside of the US. Then I would use Discover Card, as they do not charge foreign transaction fees.
by A440
Sat Jan 14, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anybody try to get another 403b option offered?
Replies: 12
Views: 925

Re: Anybody try to get another 403b option offered?

You'll be able to post a new topic as soon as they check you out, which usually takes a few hours but may take longer during the holidays. Yes all 3 are great. Because Vanguard only uses Investor shares in their 403b plans, and Aspire adds 0.15% to Vanguard ERs, Fidelity is actually the lowest cost...
by A440
Tue Jan 10, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"
Replies: 38
Views: 4944

Re: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"

Update on Fees: According to my December '16 statement from Lincoln: "RetirementSOLUTIONS PREMIER Custodial Fee Elimination For those investors with retirement accounts, the annual retirement plan custodial fee that ranges from $0 to $35 per account for up to two accounts (maximum of $70) is be...
by A440
Sun Dec 11, 2016 7:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12
Replies: 121
Views: 15909

Re: NY Times first in a series about 403(b)s with public K-12

I am an officer in our local teacher's association of 700+ members. I have sent both of the NY Times pieces to our membership. In my view, teachers already have 2 annuities: our pension and social security. If one or more of our members is worried about either being available at retirement, it may b...
by A440
Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Financial Engines Link (where did it go?)
Replies: 3
Views: 418

Financial Engines Link (where did it go?)

Vanguard changed their home screen (account overview). I no longer see the link for Financial Engines. Any idea where to find it now?
by A440
Sun Oct 30, 2016 4:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"
Replies: 38
Views: 4944

Re: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"

Sorry, I don't have a link. It isn't advertised too much, because I don't believe Lincoln makes much (if anything) from the plan. Perhaps they believe you will come to them to manage your million plus portfolio when you retire from teaching? The plan is very similar to Retirement Solutions Premier w...
by A440
Fri Oct 28, 2016 6:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"
Replies: 38
Views: 4944

Re: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"

I dealt with a Regional VP at our local Lincoln Investment office instead of going through the rep that comes to our school.
Very pleased with the program and the service I have received from the VP and from Lincoln Investments when completing my direct exchange from another vendor in our district.
by A440
Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b fees-what is reasonable?
Replies: 19
Views: 1993

Re: 403b fees-what is reasonable?

Thanks! I just updated the post. The plan is not limited to our district, alone. It isn't advertised much by Lincoln, because they don't make any money from it (that I am aware). So if a school district has Lincoln among its 403(b)7 providers, one would need to inquire about the plan, perhaps to mor...
by A440
Wed Oct 26, 2016 5:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"
Replies: 38
Views: 4944

Re: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"

UPDATE:
So I completed a one year "test-drive" and the only fees (other than the Vanguard ER) was a $35 annual custodial fee. I decided to move my other employer 403(b)7 to this account, and will update again if any new fees get posted.
by A440
Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b fees-what is reasonable?
Replies: 19
Views: 1993

Re: 403b fees-what is reasonable?

I have been lobbying for better 403(b)7 options in our district and have used the power of our Teacher's Association (union) to get a better product. The best for DIYers is a platform offered by Lincoln Investment called Participant Directed Platform. The fund choices are all Vanguard products, and ...
by A440
Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Early Retirement and 403(b)7
Replies: 3
Views: 553

Early Retirement and 403(b)7

If I retire at 55 and separate from service with my current employer, my understanding is I can take withdrawals penalty free from my 403(b)7. Can I also assume I can tap an old 403(b)7 that I have with Vanguard that I contributed to while with the same employer, even though I had to choose a new ve...
by A440
Tue Aug 02, 2016 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Meeting with TIAA Advisor (questions we should ask)
Replies: 7
Views: 797

Meeting with TIAA Advisor (questions we should ask)

My parents (in their early 80's) have asked me to join them at their next meeting with their TIAA advisor with the hope that I would see (and comment/ask questions) what is being done with their TIAA accounts. Most have been annuitized. I thought of a few questions to ask at the meeting and was hopi...
by A440
Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How many of you have cut cord?
Replies: 172
Views: 16354

Re: How many of you have cut cord?

We got rid of cable and landline phone in 2009. The monthly amount saved (around $150) was immediately added to our kids 529 plans. So I tell people Comcast and Verizon are helping to fund our kids college We use Mohu leaf antennas, Netflix($7.99/month), Chromecast along with YouTube, Hulu, and netw...
by A440
Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b FEE changes - do I have options?
Replies: 4
Views: 561

Re: 403b FEE changes - do I have options?

Do you have a union? If so, you may be able to lobby the BA or school board to include more options. Especially, if you can show how costs matter over the long-term. We cannot invest directly with Vanguard anymore, but I found a little know "Participant Directed Plan" that has zero fees (e...
by A440
Mon Jun 13, 2016 6:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard VBIIX for $20K parking spot [Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond Index]
Replies: 6
Views: 1363

Vanguard VBIIX for $20K parking spot [Vanguard Intermediate Term Bond Index]

I'm looking for a place to move $20K from our checking account to earn more interest. The money is not part of our emergency fund, but above and beyond it. The funds might be needed in 3-5 years for home improvements. I'm considering "parking" it in VBIIX. Any thoughts or other suggestions?
by A440
Fri May 06, 2016 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: More House or More Investing?
Replies: 25
Views: 3321

Re: More House or More Investing?

Go for the investing route using low-cost index funds. Start the investing snowball rolling now, and it will be huge when you are ready to retire before all the others that can't. A bigger house comes with a bigger tax bill, more yard to mow, more rooms to heat/cool/vacuum/decorate, etc. Just get wh...
by A440
Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone bought a new bed recently? [Mattress]
Replies: 59
Views: 9921

Re: Anyone bought a new bed recently? [Mattress]

We purchased a Novaform mattress from Costco.com. Works well for me, and I have herniated lower discs. Plus, if you can get it to Costco, you can always get it replaced for free if it ever needs it. :D
by A440
Thu Apr 07, 2016 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Appliance Repairs: Is it worth it?
Replies: 44
Views: 5798

Re: Appliance Repairs: Is it worth it?

Not sure if it was mentioned here or not yet, but I have used the online resource RepairClinic.com several times to repair our Dryer, Washer, and Dishwasher. They have very helpful step-by-step videos and help with diagnostics. We have saved several hundred dollars over the years thanks to the site....
by A440
Mon Feb 08, 2016 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Customer Service
Replies: 301
Views: 32108

Re: Vanguard Customer Service

After two attempts, I received an answer from Vanguard as to the cause of the dividend posting issue. It turns out it was human error and should not happen again. Curious to know what would have happened if I hadn't checked my expected dividends that get posted to my brokerage account. Would Vanguar...
by A440
Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs. Term Life policy
Replies: 15
Views: 1511

Re: Pension options vs. Term Life policy

Many thanks to all for your thoughts and words of wisdom. This forum is a wonderful resource and I am grateful for it and for its contributors.
by A440
Sat Feb 06, 2016 7:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pension options vs. Term Life policy
Replies: 15
Views: 1511

Pension options vs. Term Life policy

When I retire from teaching at 57 I can collect half my salary at the Maximum option. If I choose an option that includes a beneficiary, my monthly amount is reduced, but my beneficiary will continue to receive the same reduced amount if I pass first. Under the same reduced option, if my beneficiary...
by A440
Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Double Check your Dividends in Vanguard Brokerage Account(s)
Replies: 11
Views: 1118

Double Check your Dividends in Vanguard Brokerage Account(s)

I had an issue with a recent dividend being posted incorrectly to my Vanguard Brokerage account. The dividend was off around $300, not in my favor. I called Vanguard and they corrected their mistake, but I'm wondering what would have happened if I didn't catch their mistake. Or if others are having ...
by A440
Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Upgrade to Brokerage Account with Vanguard
Replies: 46
Views: 10260

Upgrade to Brokerage Account with Vanguard

Could someone give me a clear reason(s) why Vanguard is asking its clients to Upgrade to a Brokerage account and include all their funds in this account? I already have a brokerage account for ETF and stock trades, do I really need a brokerage account for every other Vanguard fund I hold?
by A440
Mon Oct 19, 2015 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liable if I give 403b advice to colleagues?
Replies: 26
Views: 3149

Re: Liable if I give 403b advice to colleagues?

Thank you for all the replies. I do make a point before offering any advice to point out that: 1- I am not a financial professional, and do not have a responsibility to recommend any product that fits a colleague's best interest. 2- If someone offers compensation, I respectfully decline and steer th...
by A440
Sat Oct 17, 2015 7:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liable if I give 403b advice to colleagues?
Replies: 26
Views: 3149

Liable if I give 403b advice to colleagues?

I was curious to know if I give 403b advice to my teacher colleagues if I am in any way liable. I am licensed to be a teacher, not a financial rep. My advice is fairly generic: -start early and raise your contributions every year. -consider low-cost 403b(7) accounts over annuities, because COSTS MAT...
by A440
Thu Oct 08, 2015 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"
Replies: 38
Views: 4944

Re: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"

I was told that Admiral shares will be available in the near future, even if the account is less than $10,000. I'm going to "test drive" the plan while it is in the BETA phase of implementation. If everything pans out as promised, I'll move my other 403b account in the district to this plan.
by A440
Thu Oct 08, 2015 7:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"
Replies: 38
Views: 4944

Lincoln Investments "Participant Directed Platform"

I have been lobbying for a better 403b(7) for teachers in our district here in NJ. Too many get sold on high fee variable annuities from AXA/Equitable, VALIC, and Voya. For those that do some due diligence, we have American Funds and Vanguard. The prior, of course, comes with a load. In order to pur...
by A440
Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard 500 S&P vs Wellesley for passive income
Replies: 4
Views: 1139

Vanguard 500 S&P vs Wellesley for passive income

{OT comment deleted by admin alex, the relevant part is that the OP take home pay has been reduced by an increase in pension and healthcare contributions] The affect of these mandatory contributions have resulted in reducing my annual take home pay by over $6,000. Since I already work 1 full-time a...