Search found 421 matches

by JohnFiscal
Fri Sep 22, 2017 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budget Approximates for medical insurance post retirement?
Replies: 4
Views: 283

Budget Approximates for medical insurance post retirement?

I realize this is about as wild as an open-ended question gets, but I am looking for "budget numbers" to plug into my retirement planning for health insurance. I'm sure this can and will go all over the place. But at the moment I am just looking for order of magnitude numbers. I'm looking for myself...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Sep 22, 2017 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Equity Disproportionate to Investments
Replies: 16
Views: 1175

Re: Home Equity Disproportionate to Investments

I guess I don't see a problem here. As one pays off a home mortgage you'll have more and more equity in the home. Presumably it might be entirely paid off at retirement (some people are saying it's not a problem to have a mortgage in retirement, my own goal is to pay off my mortgage in 9 months when...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Sep 21, 2017 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you get flood insurance?
Replies: 18
Views: 962

Re: Would you get flood insurance?

I lived in Houston from 1998 - 2008 (moved out just 2 weeks before hurricane Ike, which severely affected a lot of my neighbors). Based on my experience driving to work a few months after being there and seeing how the streets were heavily flooded even in that tropical storm, I obtained flood insura...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 90
Views: 3294

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

I already replied but let me add that I really want the convenience of "automatic payment". I don't know if that is part of the whole push/pull systems. The "auto pay" thing started before there was a commercial internet. Now with the commercial internet there is the thing of logging in and pushing ...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time for a new laptop?
Replies: 46
Views: 2054

Re: Time for a new laptop?

Almost a year ago I bought an expensive new Lenovo Thinkpad T460 with Windows 10. And I am using MS Office 2016 (subscription version). There are a number of complaints/frustrations/annoyances that I have with Windows 10. I use a computer all day long at the office. We are running Windows 7 and I li...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 90
Views: 3294

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

I've used "push" a few times when transferring money around. It makes me feel a bit edgy as I may not be entirely positively confident that it's going to get pushed into the right place. So when I transfer my own cash around between my own accounts I use "pull" as much as I can. Sometimes it has not...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Aug 24, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Benefits
Replies: 31
Views: 2750

Re: Social Security Benefits

On the bright side, your income is greatly above the ceiling to which FICA is paid (somewhere around $127,200 these days). So you can put your "untaxed by FICA" funds to work in the market.
by JohnFiscal
Thu Aug 24, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with picking program to manage budget
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: help with picking program to manage budget

This concept of the tediousness of manual entry. I'm a bit at a loss for this. If I don't manually enter my particular transactions, then how do I know that the ones that I might download (as from checking, savings, credit cards) are accurate? One method would be to retain physical receipts (or emai...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Aug 24, 2017 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with picking program to manage budget
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: help with picking program to manage budget

Actually, for the OP, I never used to "budget". I did not have a formal "budget". Instead, my Excel workbooks had my checking account ledger and I would project that out for the year with anticipated expenses. And I would set my regular savings so that the graph of the balance was essentially flat. ...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with picking program to manage budget
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: help with picking program to manage budget

I started out in the mid-1990's giving Quicken, MSN Money, and my own Excel spreadsheets all a chance. I thought that either of the commercial programs would be much better than my own spreadsheets. But my experiment proved that for me using Excel was the choice and still is. My workbooks are not au...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?
Replies: 24
Views: 1568

Re: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?

Are you fully satisfied with the speakers that you originally purchased? I was fully satisfied with the original speakers. My only slight quibble was that I thought it would be nice to have more convenient access to the volume/mute button as on the more expensive model, and I would have been happy ...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Aug 23, 2017 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?
Replies: 32
Views: 4285

Re: At age 66, should let my $1MM life insurance policy lapse?

I obtained a new term life policy a few years ago, probably when I was 62. I had one 10 year term that was to expire the following year. In researching my retirement needs/planning I found that my biggest risk or problem was my dying early rather than living a long life. My wife is 11 years younger ...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 4132

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

I plan to convert all of my IRA, even if we take a tax hit. Because we may have a tax torpedoed coming when I turn 70. Fill us in on your personal Tax Torpedo, if you will... I also was planning on converting IRA to Roth, up to top of, say, the 25% tax bracket. Delay SS until 70, that gives me 4 ye...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?
Replies: 51
Views: 4132

Re: What do you do with RMD money you don't need?

If you're fortunate enough to have more $$ than you need to live on from RMDs/Social Security and possibly a pension, what do you do with the excess money from your RMDs? Do you spend it on the things you always lusted after, re-invest it (stocks or bonds/cds?), make donations to charity, or give i...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lowes vs Home Depot
Replies: 48
Views: 4959

Re: Lowes vs Home Depot

Second the HD search and menu is pathetic compared to Lowes. Last is I can easy find out if they have the items in stock before leaving and what I see in quantity generally matches that at the store. The HD site no so much, it also keeps wanting me to order online. This has not been my experience a...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google vs Bing for headline news
Replies: 3
Views: 527

Re: Google vs Bing for headline news

and as you click on links to particular sites/sources those will become more pronounced in the presentation of new news. This can lead to "siloing" of viewpoints presented/available. and the news sites will also reflect your other searches. ETA - limit all your searches to "National Enquirer" type t...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Air Canada: Can I get refund for NONREF tickets?
Replies: 10
Views: 973

Re: Air Canada: Can I get refund for NONREF tickets?

I recently reserved two nights (one night each, two weeks apart) at an airport Marriott. Because my plans were fixed I pre-paid (savings were only a couple dollars). Then my wife needed some minor but urgent surgery the week before and our cat broke its front leg (arm?). So we did not go on the plan...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your cash reserve limit, above which you invest?
Replies: 25
Views: 2658

Re: What is your cash reserve limit, above which you invest?

Like you, I have dedicated savings for each event (new car, vacations, home repairs (minor and major), health care, etc, ... must be more than 2 dozen categories). And then also accumulated cash for both short- and long-term savings (long-term being my impending retirement). A couple years prior to ...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?
Replies: 24
Views: 1568

Returning / Exchanging purchased items ?

How do people (consumers and store owners) feel about buyers returning items they purchased? I actually do not buy all that much but I am reluctant to return or exchange items unless they are truly defective. I figure that if I have purchased something and then am not entirely happy with it then it ...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Rise From 7,000 to 22,000
Replies: 49
Views: 6557

Re: The Rise From 7,000 to 22,000

I am very thankful that I did not bail out in that period. I even did do a little buying but not much at all. Just happy I 'stayed the course'.
by JohnFiscal
Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto Battery
Replies: 31
Views: 2786

Re: Auto Battery

I just put in 3rd replacement battery on my 6 year old car. I find that they have lasted only about 2 years on average (including the original). Causes include: the Southern Florida heat, the short commute to work (3 miles round-trip), parked in the sun all day, and the high-tech systems on the Volv...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Jul 28, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo
Replies: 27
Views: 2604

Re: Getting Warm/Hot Water from Cold Line in Condo

What's interesting is that the PVC pipe labeled cold from the water heater is just as warm as the pipe labeled hot. Not sure what this means?? The cold line has to be the water going into the water heater in order to be made "hot". The hot line is the heated water going out to the shower, faucets, ...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jul 20, 2017 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 1120

Re: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse

1.Fred will file for his own benefit to start on 6/1/2022, the month after he turns 70 and receive 132% of his full retirement age benefit. 2.Mary will file for her spousal benefit to start on 1/1/2026, when she is 62 and receive 32.5% of Fred's full retirement age benefit. 3.After she is widowed M...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 1120

Re: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse

I read Piper's book recently. He says that if the surviving spouse claims widow benefits prior to FRA, those benefits are reduced. I have no disagreement with that, I would expect that to be the case. But what if my death occurs when my spouse is older than her FRA, and she has been collecting redu...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 1120

Re: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse

Honeyb, sorry for your loss. Do you understand how much your SS benefits will be permanently reduced should you take them sooner than your full retirement age? I don't recall off-hand the exact figures but there will be a substantial reduction in benefit, on the order of getting only around 66% of t...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 1120

Re: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse

I have assumed (known for a fact?) that the 'survivor' benefit was equal to my (the worker) benefit at time of death if the survivor is FRA or older. This morning I was running ORP and got a surprising result, which seems to be that ORP is knocking down the survivor's benefit if/when my wife takes s...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SS survivor's benefit for my spouse
Replies: 15
Views: 1120

SS survivor's benefit for my spouse

Question on Social Security survivor's benefit for my spouse. Is her eventual survivor 's benefit reduced should she have taken her spousal benefit before her FRA? I have been assuming that this is not the case and that she would get 100% of my benefit once I have croaked and she is at or beyond her...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house bit late to the game here, but I myself would hesitate to put holes in my vinyl siding. It is so thin, could be prone to tearing and leaking. I would go to the store and get a free-standing hose stand. This can be placed near the wa...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

4. Review the gutter situation on top of the roof as there is some heavy water coming down in certain areas, and I can't get on the roof due to height and let me add, gutter installs never struck me as a DYI job. I know that some people have done this but the work is specialized, tricky and painsta...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jul 17, 2017 1:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?
Replies: 28
Views: 2900

Re: Would you look for a general handyman for these home jobs?

3. Install a hose holder on vinyl siding in the front of the house bit late to the game here, but I myself would hesitate to put holes in my vinyl siding. It is so thin, could be prone to tearing and leaking. I would go to the store and get a free-standing hose stand. This can be placed near the wa...
by JohnFiscal
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Urgent 1st world problem [coffeemaker]
Replies: 48
Views: 3489

Re: Urgent 1st world problem [coffeemaker]

I tried many coffee makers and ultimately settled on using an aeropress for my daily brewing. Economical and great taste. ditto. We have a $440 coffee grinder (it really does make a difference vs. the $40 one) and a $30 aeropress. Edited to add: "Irony" I will admit that sometimes I miss just going...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Jul 14, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Problem logging into Vanguard from abroad
Replies: 17
Views: 3140

Re: My experience

The website kept giving me a generic message: "Your account is currently unavailable. Please try again later." So I waited, and tried later. And waited, and tried again. When I finally found the time to call Vanguard during their business hours, I learned that they were intentionally blocking my ac...
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriately handling a transfer to Vanguard
Replies: 16
Views: 1019

Re: Appropriately handling a transfer to Vanguard

Wa-aay over the top. And unprofessional. Personally, I would be very careful about my personal safety (and that of my loved ones) for some time. Previous post had a good point about possible explanations. Does this person report to a supervisor? If so, you might consider alerting them to the situati...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1670

Re: Another Social Security Question

Yes delaying social security is like insurance. I would probably be smart to wait till 70 just not sure i want to deplete savings that much. Will take a look at that when I get 66.5 It is a tough call. The choices being "live better now" and "letting my wife live better later (when I'm gone)". I co...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unfounded Fear?
Replies: 16
Views: 1573

Re: Unfounded Fear?

I suppose that would be like living in a steel town, or a coal town, or an automobile manufacturing town. And we've seen how these cases have worked out when there were problems in those industries. Eventually the city may thrive and prosper but it can cause huge turmoil for years in the meantime.
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jul 03, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another Social Security Question
Replies: 16
Views: 1670

Re: Another Social Security Question

Benefits for your spouse are determined differently for her "spousal" benefit and her "survivor" benefit. Note that this means in the first case you are still living and in the latter case you are gone. Her survivor benefit will be whatever your current benefit is. If you delay taking your SS benefi...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 4287

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

We installed an induction range a year or two ago, in lieu of gas. Wife loved gas but now loves the induction even more so. Yes, it's the smooth glass top and I also am concerned when we use some heavy cast iron pans. But we just use care when doing so. Been a number of threads here about induction ...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Engines usage
Replies: 5
Views: 648

Re: Financial Engines usage

Thank you for the insight. I wasn't aware of that assumption, although I was reading some of their assumptions this morning. FE's current fund recommendations are a number of different bond and stock funds (from Vanguard, although FE does provide options to elect other families). Primarily index fun...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Engines usage
Replies: 5
Views: 648

Financial Engines usage

I'm using the version of FE provided free by Vanguard. This is not my only, or even preferred tool. But to get another view on things I thought I would see what it had to say about my asset allocation and see what funds they think are appropriate. It has come a long way since 10-15 years ago when I ...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Jim Rogers predicting "crash of a lifetime" this year or next
Replies: 89
Views: 11357

Re: Jim Rogers predicting "crash of a lifetime" this year or next

Have to say that his book "Investment Biker" got me through a long 3 week stay in SE Asia one time.
by JohnFiscal
Fri Jun 09, 2017 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Capital One 360 - no more free ATMs at 7-11
Replies: 5
Views: 1158

Re: Capital One 360 - no more free ATMs at 7-11

I use the Allpoint ATMs at CVS and Walgreens.
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP: Stock rate of return input?
Replies: 3
Views: 418

Re: i-ORP: Stock rate of return input?

Thank you for the tip. Have to admit, I'm disappointed (I really wanted to be told "oh, no! you'll surely get guaranteed 12%!") but in this case reality and conservatism rule the day.
by JohnFiscal
Thu Jun 08, 2017 7:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it possible to only replace sections of a concrete driveway?
Replies: 22
Views: 2103

Re: Is it possible to only replace sections of a concrete driveway?

I am wondering if it is possible to only replace sections of a concrete driveway. Definitely. It may require some specialized concrete sawing, but this is done all the time. I'm also wondering if you can replace parts (large areas, not spots) of an asphalt or macadam driveway. Yes, this is done and...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Jun 07, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP: Stock rate of return input?
Replies: 3
Views: 418

i-ORP: Stock rate of return input?

Would like some quickie, shot from the hip, advice on i-ORP input. I'm investigating a wide range of scenarios, changing and testing various inputs, trying to scientifically determine a realistic range for me. Would it seem to be too conservative to enter (1) Constant Spending with (2) Stock Investm...
by JohnFiscal
Sat May 27, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP: testing and verification ?
Replies: 4
Views: 713

Re: i-ORP: testing and verification ?

How I use I-ORP, and who shouldn't - Bogleheads.org is another thread that discusses questions about i-orp. Yes, that was an excellent overview of ORP and is what brought me back to looking at it. ...another bug (reported but not confirmed) Now fixed. ORP is really very impressive. I have the feeli...
by JohnFiscal
Fri May 26, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP: testing and verification ?
Replies: 4
Views: 713

i-ORP: testing and verification ?

Related to my recent thread about i-ORP (https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=219218&p=3373688#p3373688) has anyone done testing and verification of i-ORP? (and the same question can be asked of other similar software) I have been trying to verify some of the basic calculatio...
by JohnFiscal
Sat May 20, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?
Replies: 6
Views: 753

Re: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?

... But if I leave her age "blank", which is what I have to do for her SS benefit to get the correct results, it seems that her reported benefits from her FRA through the max age are equal to her benefits as taken at her FRA but (here's the anomaly) there are also 50% benefits from age 62...
by JohnFiscal
Fri May 19, 2017 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?
Replies: 6
Views: 753

Re: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?

Now I have another seeming anomaly. To keep my mind straight, so, to "get what I want" (which is 'the correct output') I need to enter my spouse's SS benefit as "blank" (no entry). Got it. Now when entering the SS ages I can enter my own age or leave it blank. In a special partic...
by JohnFiscal
Thu May 18, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?
Replies: 6
Views: 753

Re: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?

Peter: yes, I've corresponded with the author. Nice guy. Very bright. I just hate to bother him too much without my own study first. 2Pedals: I believe I have done that (as my first course). But I''ll try it again. Thanks! ETA: yes, that does work. Unfortunately my cached input sheet is on another c...
by JohnFiscal
Thu May 18, 2017 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?
Replies: 6
Views: 753

i-ORP and SS Survivor Benefits ?

I am giving i-ORP (or me) a chance and trying to understand what input is required and what the output is telling me. At the moment I am not understanding how/if SS for a married couple is considered. Case A: I run with my SS benefit entered as a positive value (30), I enter my spouse's benefit as 0...