Search found 229 matches

by TBillT
Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 4-6% a year
Replies: 22
Views: 3770

Re: 4-6% a year

The bond fund PONDX pays about 5%. Another fund PTIAX is also about 5%, and the two funds PONDX/PTIAX are different enough so they are complimentary as a pair. As always market risk of loss is your problem, you have to do what you are comfortable with. I would also consider (and use myself) individ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 24, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MAGI and Medicare
Replies: 29
Views: 1583

Re: MAGI and Medicare

Besides the increased Medicare premium that is paid monthly, high income taxpayers may be subject to an Additional Medicare Tax when they file their Form 1040. Higher income (MAGI) if high enough gets you 2 ways: there is the (1) Medicare premiums based on income (which I had initially overlooked) ...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MAGI and Medicare
Replies: 29
Views: 1583

Re: MAGI and Medicare

I am only 63 but my MAGI from last year 2016 will be used for my 2018 Medicare premium, when I eventually join. 2016 I sold some stocks at Age 62 so that bumped up my MAGI. I did not realize a mistake by selling stock at Age 62 I was increasing my future Age 65 Medicare Premiums. I will probably app...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 4-6% a year
Replies: 22
Views: 3770

Re: 4-6% a year

The bond fund PONDX pays about 5%. Another fund PTIAX is also about 5%, and the two funds PONDX/PTIAX are different enough so they are complimentary as a pair. As always market risk of loss is your problem, you have to do what you are comfortable with. I would also consider (and use myself) individu...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please explain Capital Gains tax after retirement
Replies: 49
Views: 3929

Re: Please explain Capital Gains tax after retirement

I use TurboTax for the cap gain tax estimates, because you got itemized deductions and IRA choices (if you have some earned income). What I am trying to do this year is minimize other income (eg; IRA withdrawals) and maximize deductions, so I might be able to pull off 0% long term gain tax rates thi...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has Anyone Invested Cash In TBill ETFs
Replies: 8
Views: 591

Re: Has Anyone Invested Cash In TBill ETFs

One ETF I considered is Vanguards BSV which is 60% TBills and around 40% AAA corpoorate...looks like it is 1.5% yield now
by TBillT
Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Battery Life - 2008 Toyota Hybrid Camry
Replies: 39
Views: 3898

Re: Battery Life - 2008 Toyota Hybrid Camry

Our Prius is 2006 at 165k miles battery seems fine. I am thinking there were not that many hybrid Camry's on the road by 2008, compared to Prius. So actual experience with 2008 Camry hybrid in online discussions is probably limited, I think there is some hearsay not quite as good reliability on batt...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Coverage Outside US
Replies: 36
Views: 1738

Re: Medical Coverage Outside US

We just experienced an unexpected family tragedy/illness in Mexico with large medical expenses including medivac. Granted Canada is not Mexico, but our loved one thankfully had AARP Medicare Supplemental and there you have to select the option with overseas medical coverage. Also they had the trip ...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Coverage Outside US
Replies: 36
Views: 1738

Re: Medical Coverage Outside US

We just experienced an unexpected family tragedy/illness in Mexico with large medical expenses including medivac. Granted Canada is not Mexico, but our loved one thankfully had AARP Medicare Supplemental and there you have to select the option with overseas medical coverage. Also they had the trip i...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Has Anyone Invested Cash In TBill ETFs
Replies: 8
Views: 591

Re: Has Anyone Invested Cash In TBill ETFs

I have used TLT long term and IEF medium term in my Fidelity account. No problems.
I do not find too much need for the short term over other options (money market funds etc).
If I did want short term, I would not be afraid to buy the actual bonds (eg; in Fidelity account).
by TBillT
Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories
Replies: 67
Views: 2911

Re: Essential Bike (bicycle) Accessories

Minimums for me (when i stay fairly close to home): >removable front basket for the Saturday produce market. >those really thick puncture resistant tubes >Lights for nite in case I get home late >small rear storage pouch for phone, hats etc >bike gloves helmet Optional but I use some special STAYFIL...
by TBillT
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: PONDX asset allocation a negative % for cash?
Replies: 4
Views: 503

Re: PONDX asset allocation a negative % for cash?

I find PONDX total return chart looks a lot like VWINX but smoother line for PONDX.
I do not know if hedging could account for the negative cash.
by TBillT
Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?
Replies: 27
Views: 2891

Re: Are stock market returns doomed by the Baby Boomers?

Globally population is increasing from 7 Billion to 10 Billion and more of the earth's population is developing.
So something like Vanguard Life Strategy Moderate Growth represents the total global stock and bond market, and that represents where all of those folks are putting their savings, sort of.
by TBillT
Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for $4 million - can I do all stocks?
Replies: 72
Views: 5561

Re: Investment advice for $4 million - can I do all stocks?

To me it is a difficult era to invest.
I am a bit of a bear on the stock market, and bit of a bull on bonds.
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Your house can bypass probate in Virginia--true?
Replies: 20
Views: 1206

Re: Your house can bypass probate in Virginia--true?

Hi OP we are also in Virginia also working on our will or trust. My understanding is they changed the Va. law a few years back to allow the house to be TOD and skip probate. We are planning to do that too. We are struggling between will or trust but my wife is not comfortable with the trust idea so ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX a 1-Stop Shop? [Vanguard Wellesley]
Replies: 51
Views: 10595

Re: VWINX a 1-Stop Shop? [Vanguard Wellesley]

We have VWINX happy with it. A more "Boglesque" similar fund (or "Sharpesque") might be Life Strategy Moderate Growth VSMGX, which is total market index. Believe performance is a notch above VWINX. In Fidelity I use PONDX as a surrogate which seems to match VWINX Given VWINX is ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX a 1-Stop Shop? [Vanguard Wellesley]
Replies: 51
Views: 10595

Re: VWINX a 1-Stop Shop? [Vanguard Wellesley]

We have VWINX happy with it. A more "Boglesque" similar fund (or "Sharpesque") might be Life Strategy Moderate Growth VSMGX, which is total market index. Believe performance is a notch above VWINX. In Fidelity I use PONDX as a surrogate which seems to match VWINX Given VWINX is ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Cramer makes the bull case for including bonds in your portfolio
Replies: 23
Views: 2996

Re: Cramer makes the bull case for including bonds in your portfolio

Probably Cramer bumped into A. Gary Shilling at the Mall in North Jersey. Shilling gave Cramer a jar of bee honey (his hobby) and told Cramer 35-yr bond bull market still alive, and might "bee" good idea if crude oil prices plummet. https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2017-06-27/oil-s-...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VWINX a 1-Stop Shop? [Vanguard Wellesley]
Replies: 51
Views: 10595

Re: VWINX a 1-Stop Shop? [Vanguard Wellesley]

We have VWINX happy with it.

A more "Boglesque" similar fund (or "Sharpesque") might be Life Strategy Moderate Growth VSMGX, which is total market index. Believe performance is a notch above VWINX.

In Fidelity I use PONDX as a surrogate which seems to match VWINX
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reduce MAGI
Replies: 8
Views: 1284

Re: Reduce MAGI

LSLover wrote:Itemizing deductions does not affect MAGI.


OK yes I stand corrected...I am trying to do 2 things: reduce MAGI and keep tax bracket lower.
by TBillT
Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation for things to do in Seattle area
Replies: 18
Views: 1049

Re: Recommendation for things to do in Seattle area

Gormet lunch or dinner in the space needle was nice.
Boeing tour if you can swing it (we did not have time)
Bill Gates foundation displays.
by TBillT
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: what's your secret to cleaning inside car windows?
Replies: 47
Views: 3436

Re: what's your secrete to cleaning inside car windows?

I use the product Invisible Glass and I get it from Walmart. It is supposed to be very good, last I time checked.
by TBillT
Sat Jul 15, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing in company stock?
Replies: 17
Views: 703

Re: Investing in company stock?

Another advantage of company stock is NUA withdrawal, which I did with some good success. NUA is where in the end, you take out the stock at the (low) price you paid, and you have long term gains on the increase. Unclear how long Congress will allow NUA to remain an withdrawal option, and you must f...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 15, 2017 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity interest rates
Replies: 20
Views: 1998

Re: Fidelity interest rates

Sounds like you (OP) may be comparing apples and oranges. You seem to be talking about on-line banks such as Ally etc. which are a different type of institution. Money Market funds are now getting back to 1% but are not FDIC insured. So the period where Banks were 1% and Fidelity/Vanguard was 0% in ...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bond Website?
Replies: 34
Views: 1817

Re: Corporate Bond Website?

Although I am a fan of bonds, I do not really totally agree with the OP approach. He is predicting an increase in interest rates and thinking of holding medium term bonds to maturity as a way to guarantee say 3% return. Might as well go with CD, unless OP wants to risk junk quality and try to go for...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Reduce MAGI
Replies: 8
Views: 1284

Re: Reduce MAGI

Sounds like you may already be minimizing to the extent possible, but to check that, you could use Turbo Tax to explore if there are other deductions. I am using itemized deductions, reversal of IRA withdrawals within 60 days, tax loss harvesting, making IRA contributions, to reduce my MAGI. SEP IRA...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2156

Re: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas

Steelersfan wrote:I have no idea why you'd want to though.


..well, a visitor might need to know if Kennywood's open (polite way to say forgot to zip up the zipper).
by TBillT
Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2156

Re: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas

We drive by Fallingwater all the time on that scenic Rt.40 going back to Pittsburgh. From the southern burbs that's an easy shot down 43South Turnpike. In town I guess its a little longer. You got the Uniontown uphill/dowmhill to cope with and a new casino too I guess. Braddocks grave, Fort Necessit...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bond Website?
Replies: 34
Views: 1817

Re: Corporate Bond Website?

I don't think either of these is a good idea, because of the diversification issue, a single high-yield bond could easily default, and even a single investment-grade long-term corporate bond has a significant default risk over its long term. It is fine to hold bonds in an IRA, but you should hold t...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Good on Cramer!
Replies: 19
Views: 4203

Re: Good on Cramer!

I do not actually trade stocks, but I find Cramer's show to be useful for insights.
Yes at some point Cramer (in so many) words accepted Jon Stewart's biting criticism and now Cramer tries to be more educational.
by TBillT
Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Time to tax-gain harvest, and getting it right?
Replies: 12
Views: 784

Re: Time to tax-gain harvest, and getting it right?

I have been doing this also, taking the long term gains in the 15% tax bracket. I use TurboTax to estimate. I am older so besides add'l state income tax, this is bumping up my MAGI which impacts future Medicare premiums (and excess Medicare taxes above $250K MAGI for Married filing joint, but I am k...
by TBillT
Wed Jul 12, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bond Website?
Replies: 34
Views: 1817

Re: Corporate Bond Website?

I have had a lot of fun trading bonds at Fidelity, but have been sitting tight these days. But here is example. One bond I like is FORD, but so far I did not purchase it. So I see I could get FORD maturity 2022 paying 3.1% and hold to maturity. But that's not exciting to me. Instead following Bogleh...
by TBillT
Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Corporate Bond Website?
Replies: 34
Views: 1817

Re: Corporate Bond Website?

I have purchased quite a few Corporate and Gov't Agency Bonds in my Fidelity accounts and the same can be done in Vanguard. In Fidelity, from your account, you go to Trade/Fixed Income/Search Inventory/Corporate and you get a long list of bonds available to purchase, in a wide variety of maturity da...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 10, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need to get dental implant done..
Replies: 23
Views: 1559

Re: Need to get dental implant done..

Yes I have an implant that was many trips to dentist/implant doctor. As mine was also an accident I believe the medical coverage was better if I recall than dental coverage. Not sure how a second case on same tooth would be handled. First step is often to fill the hole with bone regrowth material so...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from VA to GA. Do I keep VA 529 or roll over to NY or CA?
Replies: 6
Views: 251

Re: Moving from VA to GA. Do I keep VA 529 or roll over to NY or CA?

Here is my resource on this topic. It is a VA blogger "Retire Before Dad" who has summarized the VA plans nicely:

http://www.retirebeforedad.com/virginia529-simplified/

He feels what they now call "PrePaid529" works best if you are committing to Virginia public colleges.
by TBillT
Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving from VA to GA. Do I keep VA 529 or roll over to NY or CA?
Replies: 6
Views: 251

Re: Moving from VA to GA. Do I keep VA 529 or roll over to NY or CA?

I am a newer VA529 participant with my grandkids (as of 2017 my plan is now called Invest529). You may know this, but I believe you have to return any VA state tax deductions upon transfer. The only reason I use VA529 vs. say Vanguard or other plan is the state tax deduction, and basically VA uses a...
by TBillT
Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Talk me out of long term bonds
Replies: 26
Views: 1996

Re: Talk me out of long term bonds

I cannot talk you out as I have some of that, and I think it could be a good investment. I follow A. Gary Shilling on overall bond market direction, and he has not yet thrown in the towel, unless he has recently changed his mind. The only thing I am thinking right now is to maybe use the tax free mo...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 08, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price
Replies: 85
Views: 6697

Re: Boglehead mentality re todays oil price

This is from rrapier.com: "The notion that demand for crude oil will soon peak has largely replaced the idea from a decade ago that crude oil production was about to peak for geological reasons. This new idea is that we will no longer need oil (or at least a lot less of it) because consumers wi...
by TBillT
Sat Jul 08, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Bond wipeout has just begun"???
Replies: 84
Views: 11393

Re: "Bond wipeout has just begun"???

is there any bond worth holding in a taxable account for a 32 year old? This is not for the faint of heart, nor is it a Bogle method. This is a Gary Shilling method. But if you follow economist A. Gary Shilling, you would put money into a 30-year Treasury STRIP (zero coupon bond) maturing way out t...
by TBillT
Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo
Replies: 96
Views: 4535

Re: Better hurry if you want a gas-engine Volvo

Volvo is talking about gasoline ICE cars with 48v battery mild hybrid systems.
News media is a little off.
by TBillT
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy health insurance for one week in Cancun?
Replies: 12
Views: 1202

Re: Buy health insurance for one week in Cancun?

We get travel insurance that includes medical coverage outside the USA. However, almost all such policies are of the sort where one must pay, and then get reimbursed later. +1 .... But then... they will medevac you to the hospital of YOUR choice in your home country (this is the USA based coverage,...
by TBillT
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hiring an executor for my will
Replies: 72
Views: 7105

Re: Hiring an executor for my will

We are currently working with a Bank as the named trustee of a deceased family member trust. Also the Bank was named as the Power of Attorney. Overall we feel the Bank approach is good for this situation. The main problem was the Bank was not prepared to immediately act. So when we needed the Power ...
by TBillT
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Why Doesn't My 401(k) Pay Dividends?
Replies: 33
Views: 3004

Re: Why Doesn't My 401(k) Pay Dividends?

My 401K allowed me to take dividends on the company stock only, which I did until last year's rollover.
But it is not tax efficient as they are not "qualified" dividends when taken this way.
by TBillT
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Bond wipeout has just begun"???
Replies: 84
Views: 11393

Re: "Bond wipeout has just begun"???

If you are a market timer (perish the thought!) I follow Gary Shilling who still feels the bond rally is alive and bond values will increase. However, Shilling is also a money manager, so he "get's out of the way" of freight trains (sentiment). So right now we have a sentiment shift, yet a...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Verizon- Why do they treat old customers worse?
Replies: 46
Views: 4813

Re: Verizon- Why do they treat old customers worse?

We got in a big fight with Verizon when they put a cable cover in the middle of our front lawn a few years back. It was a one-sided fight, as Verizon completely ignored us, even ignored our elected officials who stepped to the plate for us. Our elected officials said the only action we could take (s...
by TBillT
Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help With Fund Choices At Fidelity In Roth IRA
Replies: 16
Views: 970

Re: Help With Fund Choices At Fidelity In Roth IRA

I am not suggesting you should follow my example, but in Fido I use NTF funds such as PONDX, PTIAX and I like FFRHX which moves somewhat counter. I have also bought a lot of actual bonds, gov't agency and corporate, but that was when interest rates were higher and I could more clearly see the value ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is structured notes sound investment choice?
Replies: 18
Views: 1190

Re: Is structured notes sound investment choice?

Here's how I read this legalize: if J.P.Morgan has financial problems within the next 7 years (before the Observation date of June 25, 2024 on this CD) and ends up in some form of bankruptcy or receivership, there will not be any FDIC backup on the anticipated gain in this CD investment . I infer t...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy health insurance for one week in Cancun?
Replies: 12
Views: 1202

Re: Buy health insurance for one week in Cancun?

Going to Cancun, Mexico for 1 week after Thanksgiving. Medicare doesn't cover international locations. My back up federal health insurance plan (apwu---cigna) covers me but they said I may have to pay and then get reimbursed. Should I buy a separate one week policy in case of a major health issue? ...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 03, 2017 2:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pimco Income Fund - What am I missing?
Replies: 12
Views: 1872

Re: Pimco Income Fund - What am I missing?

I like PONDX. It has grown to be a very large fund and yet keeps its good performance, which is amazing, but usually big funds trend to mediocre performance. This is your concern, as PONDX has attracted many $$$ from the former Bill Gross fund PTRAX. PONDX performs very similar to Vanguard Wellesley...
by TBillT
Mon Jul 03, 2017 1:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard recommended Retirement allocation too simple?
Replies: 70
Views: 6278

Re: Vanguard recommended Retirement allocation too simple?

It is somewhat similar to Vanguard Life Strategy Moderate Growth.
If you really want to be simple, just have one fund, which is not a bad approach.
I am a little bearish on the market, so I might be a bit more conservative, but that's me

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