Search found 1564 matches

by Frugal Al
Mon May 30, 2016 6:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When to get first car service done
Replies: 41
Views: 1883

Re: When to get first car service done

Thanks folks. I did not know that I could check the Oil level on my dashboard. You can't on a Honda, nor can you on most other vehicles. Don't confuse the remaining oil life with the oil level. The MM does not replace the necessity of manually checking your oil level--one of its short comings in my...
by Frugal Al
Sat May 28, 2016 5:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum Pension Offer
Replies: 21
Views: 1814

Re: Lump Sum Pension Offer

Shouldn't be using a single life pay rate when comparing to a lump sum option; however, any reasonable 100% joint life pay rate would still prove this to be a very rich pension. Normally with small pensions and long time horizons one can make an argument to just take the lump and be done with it--ha...
by Frugal Al
Sun May 01, 2016 6:19 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's a typical pension funding % ?
Replies: 30
Views: 3611

Re: What's a typical pension funding % ?

Congress regularly tinkers with the discount rates used for pension minimum funding standards as a way to raise revenue. That's what happened with "MAP-21". MAP-21 pension funding changes were made to assuage the effect low interest rates were having on plan sponsors. It was a bit of a st...
by Frugal Al
Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a New Car...Is it Unwise?
Replies: 68
Views: 6040

Re: Buying a New Car...Is it Unwise?

I think you've just got a case of "new car-itis." There's absolutely nothing wrong with the car you have. You've probably taken $20k to $22k of depreciation over 8 years (and this doesn't include sales tax expense). You've got relatively low mileage on the TSX and in 8 more years it will s...
by Frugal Al
Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CVT car transmissions
Replies: 25
Views: 2354

Re: CVT car transmissions

Every Toyota Prius has a CVT, and the transmissions consistently go 300,000 miles with no problems. The Corolla will use the same tech, and likely last as long. William, you're not paying attention, you're comparing apples and oranges :oops: (see above post). The Prius doesn't use a steel belt/chai...
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: CVT car transmissions
Replies: 25
Views: 2354

Re: CVT car transmissions

The Prius has always had a CVT and has been among the most reliable cars out there. I would expect other Toyota CVT systems to behave similarly. The Toyota Prius and other Toyota hybrids don't use a conventional CVT type transmission, but rather what they call an eCVT, utilizing a planetary gear se...
by Frugal Al
Mon Apr 25, 2016 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Deflation ahead? Nobel Prize Economics winner's thought
Replies: 84
Views: 8974

Re: Deflation ahead? Nobel Prize Economics winner's thought

I'm dumbfounded that this thread is still open: these economic discussions seldom lead to anything good. I'm also dumbfounded that Bernanke is apparently suggesting the Fed be granted more power with his proposed concept of a Money-Financed Fiscal Policy (MFFP).
by Frugal Al
Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken 2014 just starting asking for "Intuit ID Password"
Replies: 16
Views: 1091

Re: Quicken 2014 just starting asking for "Intuit ID Password"

We stopped using Quicken many years ago and do not miss the cost or investment of time. Our financial lives are much more simple. I'm certainly not trying to be a shill for Quicken and I admit there is a lot of room for its improvement; but, over the many years of its use, once set up, it has saved...
by Frugal Al
Tue Apr 19, 2016 7:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warning Signs [Economic health indicators]
Replies: 282
Views: 41412

Re: Warning Signs [Economic health indicators]

If you want radio news either listen to the BBC World Service or your own (excellent) NPR, if you can. Although I enjoy some NPR programming, it is far from excellent. If I understand you correctly, Vt, you're saying one should carefully choose their biased news source. And (I'd add) they should ca...
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a SS filing no-brainer?
Replies: 11
Views: 918

Re: Is this a SS filing no-brainer?

Definitely agree with others suggesting you run an SS analyzer. Although SS claiming strategies like the so-called "70/62 Solution" can work, the truth is in the details. For it to work, the higher earning spouse is older and also usually the male, having a higher mortality rate. Such a sc...
by Frugal Al
Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?
Replies: 182
Views: 21901

Re: guaranteed 5% vs stocks?

packet wrote:It's chasing performance... but with no down side!

Every time you share data with a new financial services provider there is a potential downside through mishandling/negligence/incompetence of that data handling. I try to open as few new accounts as possible.
by Frugal Al
Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 3% annuity costs a little more than a CPI-U adjusted one
Replies: 17
Views: 1415

Re: 3% annuity costs a little more than a CPI-U adjusted one

I think what Cruncher saying is that TIPS are a more efficient inflation hedge than the CPI-U indexed annuity. Not only that, but TIPS are not irrevocable, as is the annuity funding. Also, the U.S. Treasury offers lower risk than an insurance company, when the bad stuff hits the fan. Given those rea...
by Frugal Al
Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: sellers want us to waive financing contingency
Replies: 80
Views: 6554

Re: sellers want us to waive financing contingency

They say they want our offer because we do not want to develop the land at this time, but rather for us to enjoy the property as a single family residence to raise our family. It's great that this is still going to work out for you, 'bobby. However, I've never understood property sellers that acted...
by Frugal Al
Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Winter Tire Tips
Replies: 30
Views: 2090

Re: Winter Tire Tips

If you do them, invest in a cordless impact gun. It is a real gift from the heavens for changing wheels. Good point. Even a corded impact gun is a great help. For many it's a seldom used tool, but can pay for itself in just a couple wheel changes, or water heater anode rod changes. The Harbor Freig...
by Frugal Al
Sat Feb 13, 2016 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA/social security scenarios
Replies: 13
Views: 1037

Re: SPIA/social security scenarios

I just got scared with the stock market fluctuations and started thinking of options. But I know you are right. When you say dedicated bond holding, I take it you are not talking about bond index funds? bonds or government bonds? I like your way of thinking and I think another take away is to consi...
by Frugal Al
Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SPIA/social security scenarios
Replies: 13
Views: 1037

Re: SPIA/social security scenarios

Although I agree with vested's position about optimizing the SPIA's, I'm not concerned about not optimizing them since there's no legacy intent. Also, by maximizing your SS and having a significant portfolio remaining, managing inflation shoudn't be a big concern. There is a lot of info we don't hav...
by Frugal Al
Thu Feb 04, 2016 7:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Newbie, stuck in life insurance policy.
Replies: 18
Views: 1434

Re: Newbie, stuck in life insurance policy.

I know this forum does not like life insurance policy questions, but we are really confused about it and don't to where to go. There is no problem with life insurance policy questions on this forum; everyone here is glad to help. The cautionary advice with regard to life insurance threads is that s...
by Frugal Al
Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 1634
Views: 341724

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

I also enjoyed Ex Machina more than my wife. I don't think she appreciated me finding the humanoid attractive.:D
Also watched Big Eyes recently. A very different film for Tim Burton. As usual, Amy Adams was great. I'd give it a solid B. No special effects here, just a fascinating drama.
by Frugal Al
Wed Jan 27, 2016 4:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing term life insurance linked to inflation?
Replies: 20
Views: 970

Re: Decreasing term life insurance linked to inflation?

Why would that be true? The company takes a fixed premium, to pay a fixed death benefit, and invests any early "over-payments" in fixed bonds. I don't see how inflation helps the company. Although life insurance companies practice a form of liability matching, it is imperfect due to the d...
by Frugal Al
Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing term life insurance linked to inflation?
Replies: 20
Views: 970

Re: Decreasing term life insurance linked to inflation?

My Amica term life policy benefit is inflation adjusted. This policy has a fixed premium for the term of the policy. I did not pay extra for this. In fact, this policy was the lowest cost one I found from a decent credit rated insurer. You can call Amica at 800-234-5433 Interesting, EHE. How long i...
by Frugal Al
Tue Jan 26, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Decreasing term life insurance linked to inflation?
Replies: 20
Views: 970

Re: Decreasing term life insurance linked to inflation?

MHC makes a good point: there are other ways to achieve your goal, at least somewhat. As to the reason there aren't polices designed with the attributes you seek, I suspect the chief reason is that inflation has a beneficial economic influence to the insurance company for most (virtually all) of the...
by Frugal Al
Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I'm sitting here watching FOX Business...14200??
Replies: 92
Views: 8263

Re: I'm sitting here watching FOX Business...14200??

Watching Fox for any kind of "news" is not a good idea. Why is that Freddie? All broadcast and cable news is biased and sensationalistic today. I haven't found one news organization that doesn't color their reporting in one way or another. I certainly wouldn't change my portfolio around b...
by Frugal Al
Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Powerball math: annuity is better?
Replies: 56
Views: 5463

Re: Powerball math: annuity is better?

Powerball has 30 annual payments, first payment immediate, which do NOT end at death.
by Frugal Al
Thu Dec 31, 2015 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent Life Insurance- Northwestern Mutal
Replies: 42
Views: 2766

Re: Permanent Life Insurance- Northwestern Mutal

Good advice from Ole Meph, Emergedoc, et al. In fairness to the CFP, I'd be curious if the OP indicated an extreme aversion to risk, and/or a need/desire to have permanent insurance. Too many financial professionals take the easy route if it presents itself, even if it's not optimal for the client. ...
by Frugal Al
Thu Dec 31, 2015 4:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New YNAB Available - Now with Auto-Import
Replies: 29
Views: 5229

Re: New YNAB Available - Now with Auto-Import

The one major downside is that it's now a service model with an ongoing subscription @ $5/month or $50 / year. Wow, and some here complained about Quicken needing renewed every 3 years, for a lot less than $150. Although YNAB is probably a better app for just budgeting (I haven't used it as I've be...
by Frugal Al
Wed Dec 30, 2015 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much inflation in the US per year?
Replies: 56
Views: 4278

Re: How much inflation in the US per year?

Too funny, Epsilon Delta. I just blew coffee out my nose.
by Frugal Al
Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 66
Views: 6522

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

duplicate
by Frugal Al
Wed Dec 30, 2015 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 66
Views: 6522

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

I think water heater warranties conform more closely to effective life than, say, a typical computer warranty. Mostly because the of the larger sacrificial anode(s) that is included with the longer warranty. Other than that the construction and parts are basically the same, with relatively minor de...
by Frugal Al
Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 66
Views: 6522

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

If you factor in installation costs, buying a heater with a shorter warranty (expected life) is a false economy, IMO. Since when does warranty equal expected life? Most products last past their warranty--even hot water tanks. Once again, all the longer warranty really gets you with a hot water tank...
by Frugal Al
Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Turn off water heater on vacation?
Replies: 66
Views: 6522

Re: Turn off water heater on vacation?

My best practices: Buy a water heater with the longest possible warranty. My last one was 12 years. It failed after 10, and Home Depot gave me a new one with another 12-year warranty. (!) Although your water heater "best practices" has some good points, your reliance upon long warranties ...
by Frugal Al
Thu Dec 17, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W4 Allowance question
Replies: 10
Views: 766

Re: W4 Allowance question

I'm assuming she's claiming 1 or 2 since we've never considered changing it The withholding information is often found on the pay stub. If not, inquire with payroll. Check the withheld amounts against the information in Pub 15 to assure accuracy and understanding of how the withheld amount is calcu...
by Frugal Al
Thu Dec 17, 2015 2:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I cash out my whole life policy?
Replies: 81
Views: 5846

Re: Should I cash out my whole life policy?

JSDNJ wrote:Can anyone tell me based on the images of my in force illustration approximately what type of return I am expecting?

I believe I did.
by Frugal Al
Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W4 Allowance question
Replies: 10
Views: 766

Re: W4 Allowance question

I've always referred to IRS Publication 15 and used the wage bracket method to calculate the number of withholding allowances needed to achieve the desired withheld amount.
by Frugal Al
Sat Dec 12, 2015 11:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau on Reverse Mortgages
Replies: 41
Views: 4379

Re: Wade Pfau on Reverse Mortgages

Tonen wrote:Is it Government guarenteed? Otherwise, what are the odds of a Line of Credit provider figuring out some clever way of walking away from the deal (eg spinoff to a subsiduary that then becomes insolvent) if lines of credit end up being worth more than the houses?

Yes, HECM's are insured by the FHA.
by Frugal Al
Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wade Pfau on Reverse Mortgages
Replies: 41
Views: 4379

Re: Wade Pfau on Reverse Mortgages

Given that the sequence of returns risk is one of the biggest threats to retirement portfolio draw down, retaining a RM and using last would seem to greatly mitigate that risk, with the increasing LOC being icing on the cake. As dodecahedron points out, it's a put with a growing strike price. I like...
by Frugal Al
Tue Dec 08, 2015 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard sued for [failing to charge market rates to and then paying taxes on services to its mutual funds]
Replies: 781
Views: 120450

Re: Vanguard sued for [failing to charge market rates to and then paying taxes on services to its mutual funds]

I generally don't believe in coincidence, and it's not surprising that Vanguard would be a big target among financial companies. Still, I had no idea just how much of an impact they are now having. http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20151201/FREE/151209995/how-vanguard-pulls-billions-from-wall-st...
by Frugal Al
Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best watch for around $5,000?
Replies: 950
Views: 208556

Re: Best watch for around $5,000?

I have a friend who has a fake Rolex. You can tell the difference just by looking at the movement of the second hand. It really depends upon the year and model of the Rolex and the quality of the movement of its fake counterpart. The better knock-offs will use a movement that is running at 28,800 b...
by Frugal Al
Wed Nov 25, 2015 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich Dad's Latest (Non Boglehead) Advice
Replies: 25
Views: 5582

Re: "The White Coat Investor"

What's he's really saying is, "Buy my book!" I doubt Taylor will read this one. Emergdoc: You're right. If I want to read real " Investment Gems ," they are in this book: The White Coat Investor Best wishes. Taylor How kind. Taylor, you exude all that is good. Thanks for all you...
by Frugal Al
Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum or Annuity
Replies: 18
Views: 1647

Re: Lump Sum or Annuity

I believe you've got things backward, Al. A 100% joint life annuity will have a higher, not lower return than a single life annuity of the same amount. Yes, Cruncher, I said it backwards. I should have written "making me wonder if the payout is for single life." We should compare the 100%...
by Frugal Al
Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lump Sum or Annuity
Replies: 18
Views: 1647

Re: Lump Sum or Annuity

Right, So they are discounting at 4-5%. And long term treasury rates are in the 2-3% range. So one is getting ripped off. Unless one has a really large pension that is above the pbgc limits. While I agree it was more beneficial back when pension lump sums were tied to treasury rates, I'd hardly say...
by Frugal Al
Mon Nov 23, 2015 8:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 70 is the New 65
Replies: 106
Views: 13358

Re: 70 is the New 65

Actually, we are not really living much longer than previous generations if you measure life-expectancy at age 65. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-s-friedman-phd/were-not-really-living-mu_b_852940.html Who to believe? Let's see, a 2011 article in the Huff Post or the new (in draft form) RP-201...
by Frugal Al
Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Subarus reliable?
Replies: 81
Views: 6297

Re: Are Subarus reliable?

That's certainly not been my experience. I bought my Outback in 2013, and have driven it through two winters so far. Without snow tires, it is far better than any FWD vehicle I've ever driven with snow tires. (Agree with DDMP) Although you've had a good experience with your AWD vehicle with what I ...
by Frugal Al
Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension, take the lump sum or annual payments
Replies: 5
Views: 813

Re: Pension, take the lump sum or annual payments

The growth on the pension isn't very impressive, but that's not the real issue with the plan. The real issue is you really can't afford to FIRE yourself yet. Age 40 is really early (OP is now age 37). What's the rush? You're accumulating well, and your expenses are low. As you point out, you have no...
by Frugal Al
Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you believe that Social Security [is actuarially neutral]
Replies: 130
Views: 14051

Re: Do you believe that Social Security [is actuarially neutral]

Leeraar is correct. For it to be actuarially neutral, the benefit increase per month should GROW as you get older. If it starts at 8.0% at 66, then it would be at least 9% by age 70... Leerar pointed out the diminishing percentage of increase, but he didn't actually say it was actuarially neutral. ...
by Frugal Al
Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jeep Cherokee Limited vs Acura RDX
Replies: 16
Views: 2012

Re: Jeep Cherokee Limited vs Acura RDX

Much as one would want to help American workers in an American company, the reality is the Honda will give you less trouble and a higher resale value. What American company are you referring to, VT? What we really have is an Italian company and a Japanese company with about 71% vs 70% domestic cont...
by Frugal Al
Sun Nov 15, 2015 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gov't Social Security age decision website
Replies: 6
Views: 1558

Re: Gov't Social Security age decision website

I just got a chance to take a good look at the new calculator/website. I think they did a great job with keeping it simple and easy to understand. At the same time, it's important to recognize that: 1) It is using a 0% discount rate. (That is, it's assuming that early-received benefits are invested...
by Frugal Al
Sun Nov 15, 2015 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gov't Social Security age decision website
Replies: 6
Views: 1558

Re: Gov't Social Security age decision website

I like the Bedrock Capital site and have referred to it many times. The Consumer Finance site is ridiculously basic, incomplete, and inaccurate. [OT comments removed by admin LadyGeek]
by Frugal Al
Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you believe that Social Security [is actuarially neutral]
Replies: 130
Views: 14051

Re: Do you believe that Social Security [is actuarially neutral]

Nisi, I agree that familial longevity is not a guarantee of one's longevity; however, if one is lucky enough to have that along with better than average health, it can offer a bit of tilt to the annuity decision. No guarantees, of course. The RP-2014 mortality tables being pushed for adoption by the...
by Frugal Al
Thu Nov 12, 2015 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much SS longevity insurance to buy (new rules)?
Replies: 49
Views: 5149

Re: How much SS longevity insurance to buy (new rules)?

Good graph, JW. I like it too. It seems to correlate with the raw numbers I've worked up.

VtMaps, I'm not sure the trade-off is worth it either. Fortunately, you don't have to make the decision quite yet.
by Frugal Al
Fri Nov 06, 2015 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pension lump sum distribution
Replies: 6
Views: 447

Re: pension lump sum distribution

You need to provide specifics to your lump sum offer, and what might be right for one person isn't right for another.The fact that you will not be covered completely by PBGC is obviously a very real concern. This sounds like a significant part of your retirement portfolio. Part of the decision is yo...

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