Search found 395 matches

by Diogenes
Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 224
Views: 21150

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

Global Entry (long flights + long immigration lines are no unbearable) You might try Global Passport. You can get the official app and now with those new kiosks at many points of entry it's another alternative. I've recently seen it be sometimes faster than when I use Global Entry... I would add to...
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2146

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Valuethinker, You make good points about the crime corruption, and infrastructure, but those issues are far worse elsewhere in Africa. Living in Cape Town you really see few of those problems. It is a first world city with a first world infrastructure, continually ranked as one of the top global cit...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 25, 2016 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2146

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

To the OP: I live in Vietnam and have been faced with similar conundrums. On the one hand, local term deposits are yielding 7%. There hasn't been 7% depreciation in the past year. (Today the exchange rate is 22,301; a year ago it was 22,150 or a 0.6% depreciation.) And my costs are determined by lo...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 25, 2016 6:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2146

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

If you make 1% on US account, pay 30% tax say then that is 0.7%. If you make 6% on SA account, after tax that's 4.2%. And then inflation is 5.5%, so you wind up losing money. You don't pay tax on the interest if it comes from a South African bank. (Well, tax free on the first $1,800 of interest.) S...
by Diogenes
Sat Sep 24, 2016 6:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2146

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Very interesting comments, as expected. If the Fed increases the discount rate in the U.S. After the election, which seems to be the expectation, an immediate loss of value of the ZAR to the USD would result. That's according to the SA financial gurus, which makes sense. Perhaps I will do nothing un...
by Diogenes
Fri Sep 23, 2016 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2146

Re: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

We assume that the rand has weakened, and that the conversion rate, 1 year later, is 5% worse, i.e. 15.75:1 So, if you'd kept your money in dollars, and only made the conversion at the end, with the weakened rand rate, you'd have 50035 * 15.75 = 788,051.25 rands So, better to keep the currency in d...
by Diogenes
Fri Sep 23, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?
Replies: 30
Views: 2146

Currency risk for 5.5 percent? Missing something?

Ok, help me see what I'm missing on this. I'll be living in Cape Town for the next couple of years, maybe longer. Currently the South African Rand (ZAR) is at a near historic low against the USD, perhaps 13.5 - 15.5 to 1. Also the local bank savings accounts have interest fixed at 5.5 percent. I pla...
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How does one transfer US savings into a foreign currency
Replies: 35
Views: 2950

Re: How does one transfer US savings into a foreign currency

I need to regularly transfer funds from the U.S. to South Africa to pay property expenses for a property in Cape Town. I looked at Schwab Global as I have accounts there, and also IB based on recommendations here. Neither allow ZAR (South African Rand) transfers to my SA bank. I want the funds conve...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 18, 2016 1:01 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Expat and overseas funds
Replies: 21
Views: 1766

Re: Expat and overseas funds

Getting cash from ATM's is no problem, however currently I need to pay local bills related to a property in Cape Town. I can't pay them with a credit card without significant fees. The ATM's here have fairly low daily limits, and then you are charged if you deposit cash (funny I know). I have a loca...
by Diogenes
Mon Sep 12, 2016 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard Investments while living overseas
Replies: 10
Views: 794

Re: Vanguard Investments while living overseas

Most expats deal with that by setting their mailing address to a friend or relative. Some other situations where they aren't explicitly anti-expat but just have a US-centric view: - Often have no notion of non-US phone numbers, which causes problems with any kind of SMS verification. (Wells Fargo, ...
by Diogenes
Sun Sep 11, 2016 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?
Replies: 107
Views: 13044

Re: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?

I wish the mutual funds were available without significant charges at other brokerages. Me too. Fidelity won't even allow Wellesley admiral to be transferred in. They charge $75 to buy Wellesley Investor shares. Pure indexers may be okay at other brokerages but I am not a pure indexer mainly becaus...
by Diogenes
Sat Sep 10, 2016 7:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab vs Vanguard....I know, it's been discussed!
Replies: 23
Views: 2365

Re: Schwab vs Vanguard....I know, it's been discussed!

It's also an easy decision to keep using Schwab as if you have a good rep and a significant balance you can buy all Vanguard funds commission free in the Schwab account. The rep just attaches a code to your account and you are good to go. It's good marketing as I now wonder, why do I need an account...
by Diogenes
Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving 4M from Goldman. retired and needs 200K/Y
Replies: 55
Views: 8901

Re: Moving 4M from Goldman. retired and needs 200K/Y

Does the 200 or 280K you require for living expenses include health insurance/care for all of you?

You live in NY? Any thoughts to getting out as part of the retirement plan?


_D_
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to sell a home in Florida
Replies: 27
Views: 2563

Re: Best way to sell a home in Florida

Do you know a realtor in your home town that you trust/like? Ask them for a recommendation. And, that gated community aspect makes it sound like you do need someone local to do all that legwork for listings. Likely there are other options besides paying a listing realtor excessive fees merely to op...
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug
Replies: 15
Views: 1878

Re: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug

I assume you have been paying into Medicare and will qualify? How does an expat "pay into Medicare"? Usually quite easily actually. The spouse is a USCIT working overseas, correct? That means that they required to pay U.S. income tax on her earnings, both if he also has U.S. status. If yo...
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug
Replies: 15
Views: 1878

Re: Expat Teacher considering pulling the plug

Have you compared the cost of living in both places? I think from expat reports that NZ is generally higher than most non-urban areas in the U.S., but I might be wrong. If you decide to retire in the States carefully look at the current situation re ACA before you pick a destination State. Even if y...
by Diogenes
Wed Sep 07, 2016 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS
Replies: 142
Views: 12152

Re: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS

Would anyone have a link where we could watch the PBS broadcast? From what I've seen with friends and colleague, there are two types that intentionally take a mortgage into retirement. 1. Those that are forced to by circumstances, divorce, job layoff, etc. 2. Those that use the mortgage as a piggy b...
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to sell a home in Florida
Replies: 27
Views: 2563

Re: Best way to sell a home in Florida

Here is a recent thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=198053

There are lots of options. Good luck and don't feel the need to use a realtor under the old 6 percent pricing model. That pretty much is history in active markets.
by Diogenes
Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?
Replies: 107
Views: 13044

Re: leaving vanguard due to math errors / poor customer service?

I wish the mutual funds were available without significant charges at other brokerages. Me too. Fidelity won't even allow Wellesley admiral to be transferred in. They charge $75 to buy Wellesley Investor shares. Pure indexers may be okay at other brokerages but I am not a pure indexer mainly becaus...
by Diogenes
Fri Sep 02, 2016 8:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

[ I don't work in the million dollar market so it's hard to answer that question. I'm currently representing a young school teacher who's buying a $70,000 condo. She was a referral from my partner so the partner get's 35%. 2.7% x $70,000 is $1890. My partner gets 35% off the top so that's $661.50. ...
by Diogenes
Thu Sep 01, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ $99 for 6 months -- worth it?
Replies: 54
Views: 3222

Re: WSJ $99 for 6 months -- worth it?

I like the WSJ, it's clearly one of the few remaining papers that is worth a read. I kept the subscription active for a couple years after I moved out of the U.S. They make it easy to suspend delivery for long periods, which stops the delivery clock but at that time still allowed access to the onlin...
by Diogenes
Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS
Replies: 142
Views: 12152

Re: Ric Edelman's The Truth about Retirement on PBS

Maintaining a mortgage when you are in retirement seems mostly to be an excuse for overconsumption before and after retirement, and a way for some 'advisors' to get access to more money to 'manage' that otherwise would pay off said mortgage...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which state to establish LLC for foreign earned income?
Replies: 8
Views: 629

Re: Which state to establish LLC for foreign earned income?

There will be no assets. I don't really need the liability protection. I will be the sole owner. All income will be earned out of the country in Euros (most of my income will be earned in the U.S.). My goal is to minimize costs and hassle. Any recommendations for a state in which to incorporate? Mo...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 30, 2016 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best software for financial planning
Replies: 47
Views: 6105

Re: best software for financial planning/ look at Retirees Model Portfolio

Some knowledge of Excel is helpful to get the most from this calculator. This must have been where I fell short previewing the Retiree's Model Portfolio... :oops: I wanted to enter different types of accounts (457/403B/) as well as many more of them. Couldn't figure an easy way to do that. Also wan...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: best software for financial planning
Replies: 47
Views: 6105

Re: best software for financial planning

check out Wealthtrace: https://www.mywealthtrace.com/ I have investigated the program and plan to purchase in Sept. They offer a free trial period of several weeks. At $209, plus a yearly fee of $139, a bit pricey. Also, it seems this involves sending your personal information to the company. I can...
by Diogenes
Sat Aug 27, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

I actually enjoy these real estate agent bashing threads. It reminds me that the world Bogleheads live in has little resemblance to the world most of us live in. My average sale is around $220,000 The average buyer's rep commission is 2.7% Of that $5940 I'm lucky to see half of it. Then out of that...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

Just out of curiosity, have you considered an auction? If the market is as hot as you believe, you should have multiple bidders, find the right match, hire a real-estate attorney, etc. I'm thinking out of the box on this one and have never been involved with an auction of a house before. Thanks for...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

My observations on reasons why a house isn't selling: 1) Overpriced 2) Undesirable location 3) Not offering 3% commission to buyer's agent Number 3 seems to be the view proposed by realtors frequently, without corroboration. I would summarily fire any Buyer's Agent working for me if he refused to p...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

Doctors, lawyers and CPA's are not salesmen. You seek their advice when you need it. They are not trying too sell you a product. If they were, they would get paid on a commission basis, like all salesmen. For most people in sales, getting a percentage of the sales price is common practice. And an a...
by Diogenes
Wed Aug 24, 2016 11:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

A good agent does provide value. Especially to people who aren't familiar with the process. But 6% is excessive. You can and should negotiate it down. Thanks for the responses. I too believe that there will be a technology or new company model that will finally put an end to all of this. Yes, there...
by Diogenes
Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Re: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

Sell it yourself using one of the FSBO companies to help you get on MLS. If you're not offering a Buyer's agent commission then you will be totally on your own. (Not necessarily bad, just you will have to handle all the showings and paperwork.) Thanks. To clarify, I don't mind offering something to...
by Diogenes
Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate
Replies: 73
Views: 5920

Real Estate agents who operate on an hourly rate

Next year I plan to sell a house I have owned for many years, although am not there often anymore. I don't plan to consider using a real estate agent who proposes a fee based on the value of my house (rather old school) but wish to compensate both seller and buyers agents based on hours they actuall...
by Diogenes
Sun Aug 21, 2016 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are debit cards risky (from fraud)?
Replies: 19
Views: 1202

Re: Are debit cards risky (from fraud)?

Any electronic transaction carries a risk. However, I doubt most of us wish to go back to the 'sock drawer' and similar methods. The key is to minimize your risk while not letting the worry of loss take you back to the Stone Age. Hiding cash under the mattress was once preferred by some to using a b...
by Diogenes
Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self-made Millionaires: how did hitting 7 figures change you?
Replies: 299
Views: 39286

Re: Self-made Millionaires: how did hitting 7 figures change you?

I think if this were 1970, $1M would be still significant. However what I noticed when passing a multiple of that, and finding that I didn't need any of it really to live, was that I no longer wanted 'things' and mostly wanted to get rid of stuff. Living years overseas helped to see that also. In mu...
by Diogenes
Wed Aug 10, 2016 6:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 29 years old too young to buy Long Term Care Insurance?
Replies: 28
Views: 2833

Re: 29 years old too young to buy Long Term Care Insurance?

You get credit for thinking ahead, but it would simply be a waste of money at age 29 to buy LTCI. In most cases the same is true before 50, in a large number cases a waste even after 50. Fewer and fewer folks in their 50's are buying it these days in light of the uninhibited exposure to premium incr...
by Diogenes
Mon Aug 08, 2016 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I lease a Tesla?
Replies: 148
Views: 10944

Re: Should I lease a Tesla?

If you need the car to somehow reward yourself, fine. However I would save the extra money, and buy a car that you would take everywhere, dropping the rest into the house fund. I don't think that you can convince anyone that you would only use the Tesla at the office as you mentioned. That made no s...
by Diogenes
Thu Aug 04, 2016 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in various places 4 months out of the year.
Replies: 44
Views: 3829

Re: Living in various places 4 months out of the year.

My main concern in a longer absence is homeowners insurance for an 'unoccupied' residence. Ideally, we could rent it to one of our boys or a close family/friend. Less ideal would be hiring someone we know to check in on it. We get a pretty limited amount of mail and would have no pets at the time. ...
by Diogenes
Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Living in various places 4 months out of the year.
Replies: 44
Views: 3829

Re: Living in various places 4 months out of the year.

tbradnc, I would encourage you to go for it. You're right trying to get beyond a tourist viewpoint on a place, be it in the States, and especially overseas. To do that you need several months minimum in new spot. No quick trips or several week vacation jaunts will do it. That's tourism, and not real...
by Diogenes
Fri Jul 29, 2016 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance
Replies: 69
Views: 5445

Re: Premium increase for federal employee long term care insurance

Several years ago when I looked at the numbers, I was left scratching my head. Not an expert on the Federal plan but used it as a benchmark to compare the others. I assumed the Federal employees probably had the numbers to negotiate the best deal. Many of these policies offered a daily benefit of $2...
by Diogenes
Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?
Replies: 63
Views: 4302

Re: Do Realtors Find FSBOs?

Thank you everyone for the great tips!! Next step is to get on MLS ASAP! I think to keep things in proper perspective, in your original question perhaps you might consider asking those who reply to make it clear if they are a realtor or not. The 6 percent of your house fee simply does not apply tod...
by Diogenes
Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do You Practice Ethical Investing?
Replies: 47
Views: 2151

Re: Do You Practice Ethical Investing?

No. The term "ethical investing" has been coined to be merely interchangeable with what some consider politically correct.

Good way to lose money, and it certainly strays from the BH philosophy.
by Diogenes
Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Live abroad for a year?
Replies: 32
Views: 2614

Re: Live abroad for a year?

Sounds great. What kind of visa do you need to stay for that length of time? Different in all countries but appears to be pretty easy to get. We are looking at going a year from now so plenty of time to plan. If you are an American, with no claim to EU status, it is not that easy to stay in a EU me...
by Diogenes
Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol
Replies: 124
Views: 10729

Re: Good Deal on a Pocket Pistol

Any thoughts on the Glock 27 for that purpose? It is a very compact and well-built pistol.

_D_
by Diogenes
Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for international SIM cards?
Replies: 30
Views: 1927

Re: Recommendation for international SIM cards?

I have been in Greece the last couple of months, and was here last year as well. Pretty easy to pickup a Cosmote sim for next to nothing, and you can get a 10 EUR recharge card anywhere. Credit goes a long way with good 3G coverage. However do not count on buying the Sim at the Athens airport, go to...
by Diogenes
Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It's not shady to move States for tax reasons is it?
Replies: 48
Views: 4952

Re: It's not shady to move States for tax reasons is it?

Moving States in some cases can be good tax planning. However I would spend a little on good tax advice in both States before making the move to avoid surprises. Also, don't move just for that reason. Be honest with yourself and your family. Is NH really where we want to live? Winter, and a few othe...
by Diogenes
Wed May 18, 2016 3:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Destination, Not Journey?
Replies: 20
Views: 2459

Re: Destination, Not Journey?

At this point, you could be well served to make sure that what you are doing every day at the office is exciting and interesting enough to spend the next 20+ years rushing through life. Money and financial security can be reached in many ways, but it's not worth it to give your life energy if the jo...
by Diogenes
Thu Mar 10, 2016 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Delta lost my luggage...
Replies: 29
Views: 3483

Re: Delta lost my luggage...

Here's a good investment:

https://lugloc.com/


I have purchased this, and seen it work.
by Diogenes
Mon Feb 22, 2016 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix
Replies: 78
Views: 5900

Re: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix

+1 for bleach. I currently live in a third world country. We routinely wash fresh vegetables in a large tub of water with a capful of bleach. Agitate it ant let it sit for 30 minutes, and then soak in fresh water twice before spinning . Tastes great, and any bacteria would be killed. Washing only i...
by Diogenes
Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix
Replies: 78
Views: 5900

Re: Sickened by Dole Salad Mix

+1 for bleach. I currently live in a third world country. We routinely wash fresh vegetables in a large tub of water with a capful of bleach. Agitate it and let it sit for 30 minutes, and then soak in fresh water twice before spinning. Tastes great, and any bacteria would be killed. Washing only in ...
by Diogenes
Thu Feb 18, 2016 2:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Academic paper on the "worth" of real estate agents
Replies: 31
Views: 4234

Re: Academic paper on the "worth" of real estate agents

The article is from 2008 and applies to Stanford, California. I liked it, because it reinforces what I believe AKA Confirmation bias. Our only experience : We sold our home ourselves for our asking price ( in a different century) within the week ( we picked the highest price from three real estate ...

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