Search found 10756 matches

by The Wizard
Wed Oct 18, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit scores fell this month a lot for no reason
Replies: 38
Views: 1940

Re: Credit scores fell this month a lot for no reason

There is zero risk in extending me credit. The scores aren't entirely designed to estimate your risk. They're designed to rate your attractiveness as a credit customer. Your risk level is only half of that picture. :beer I can't imagine how I would get to 0% utilization while using our cards. We ru...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 18, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick Chimney Issues
Replies: 22
Views: 1129

Re: Brick Chimney Issues

If you never use it, why don't you just have it removed? Chimneys are usually a huge energy drain anyway. They are only an energy drain when used with a fireplace. With a good woodstove, they are fine. Anyhow, this is a weird situation. Bricks and masonry are heavy. A brick chimney should go all th...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 82
Views: 5559

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

It helps if you can cultivate minor obsessions. I have a few: 1) Creating and expanding a logging road on my GF's 10 acre property, with chainsaw and 4WD pickup. 2) Cutting and stacking excessive amounts of hardwood firewood for both my house and the GF's house. 3) Searching out and biking the expa...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 18, 2017 5:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 82
Views: 5559

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

It helps if you can cultivate minor obsessions. I have a few: 1) Creating and expanding a logging road on my GF's 10 acre property, with chainsaw and 4WD pickup. 2) Cutting and stacking excessive amounts of hardwood firewood for both my house and the GF's house. 3) Searching out and biking the expa...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 82
Views: 5559

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

It helps if you can cultivate minor obsessions. I have a few: 1) Creating and expanding a logging road on my GF's 10 acre property, with chainsaw and 4WD pickup. 2) Cutting and stacking excessive amounts of hardwood firewood for both my house and the GF's house. 3) Searching out and biking the expan...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 82
Views: 5559

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

It took me roughly a year to get completely set with my modified retirement lifestyle.
Just matter of organizing things that I do a bit differently...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there really a lithium battery in a USB-C-to-micro-USB adapter?
Replies: 8
Views: 587

Re: Is there really a lithium battery in a USB-C-to-micro-USB adapter?

You should saw the thing in half somehow and find out!
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Calculating max electrical load of your home
Replies: 34
Views: 1985

Re: Calculating max electrical load of your home

...I was wondering if anyone really knows if it possible to draw 240v at half the amperage to draw the same amount of power for one's applications. Yes, sure it's possible. But What are you Trying To Do? Most heavy power draw items on the US use 220 volts for efficiency. You don't have much choice ...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard expects "decent sized correction" soon, sometime, maybe later
Replies: 67
Views: 6334

Re: Vanguard expects "decent sized correction" soon

Think of it from a corporate perspective.
All he's doing is waving a caution flag in front of possibly naive investors who may be inclined to get on the 100% stocks bandwagon now that stocks indices are hitting new highs practically every week.
I can't fault him for that...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?
Replies: 51
Views: 4091

Re: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?

I'm a (mostly retired) engineer as well. $100/day is close to minimum wage nowadays and there is no way I would do employment at that level. Also, that additional income will be taxed at your marginal rate, bringing $12/hr down to $8/hr or less. There have to be more interesting things to do with yo...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard expects "decent sized correction" soon, sometime, maybe later
Replies: 67
Views: 6334

Re: Vanguard expects "decent sized correction" soon

KyleAAA wrote:
Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:42 am
A "decent sized correction" at "some point." Really stepping out on a limb there, Vanguard.
Trees still grow to the sky, last time I checked...
by The Wizard
Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Regular Taxable Accounts vs Tax-Advantaged
Replies: 13
Views: 951

Re: Regular Taxable Accounts vs Tax-Advantaged

With my tax deferred accounts, I am able to convert qualified dividends, which would be taxed at 15% in a taxable account, into Ordinary Income, which is federally taxed at 25-28% in my case...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Joined the 1 comma club today!!!
Replies: 18
Views: 3400

Re: Joined the 1 comma club today!!!

Oddly, one share of VTI is about double the amount of one share of its mutual fund equivalent, VTSAX!
Isn't that amazing?
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 12776

Re: Annuities-when and why?

Here's another way of looking at guaranteed retirement income (pensions+annuities+SS). How much guaranteed income is reasonably sufficient such that you are no longer dependent on your portfolio to fund your lifestyle? If I grant you $150k per year, is that enough to leave your portfolio alone hence...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 12776

Re: Annuities-when and why?

I have a pension, my wife's SSA, and some day my SSA. That's enough annuities for me. I think I can get a better return through investing than with annuities. Yes, it is enough annuitization in many cases, but getting better return through investing is easy because annuities (SPIA) don't have retur...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 12776

Re: Annuities-when and why?

Maybe I am totally missing this. But a payout rate of 7% does not equal a 7% investment return. Your purchase price of the annuity is a sunk cost. Much of the money being returned was yours. Right? The good thing about an annuity is the predictable income stream. But that comes at a price. Right? I...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 5:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking we are close to winning the game
Replies: 35
Views: 5615

Re: Thinking we are close to winning the game

Why do you need life insurance? Sure, keep it for now, but once you retire you can self-insure. That is one of the benefits of having everything paid for and 1.7m in the market. The reason that retirees need life insurance is that the second Social Security payment is a very valuable asset, being e...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thinking we are close to winning the game
Replies: 35
Views: 5615

Re: Thinking we are close to winning the game

I would use the KlangFool method at a minimum to figure your current expenses, though some of this depends on how you manage new vehicle purchases and other big ticket items. Beyond that you might want to ponder your discretionary expenses, such as travel, and decide how they might change in retirem...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security payouts vs. "estimated benefits" online
Replies: 36
Views: 1820

Re: Social Security payouts vs. "estimated benefits" online

I've got a little over 20 years of sequential high earning years in my Social Security record. All years either at the SS limit or very close to it up or down. No years are WAY over however. If you earn at least the SS limit in any given year, it doesn't matter if you earn $1 more or $1,000,000 mor...
by The Wizard
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 5072

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

I've put most of my money in traditional accounts (90% traditional, 10% Roth). You get the tax break instantly vs. possible break in decades. Maybe it is just me, but I have no idea what tax bracket I will be when I'm retired. Who knows what the brackets will even be then?... I agree. You want to w...
by The Wizard
Sun Oct 15, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Over $10k in taxes owed for using 529s
Replies: 10
Views: 1549

Re: Over $10k in taxes owed for using 529s

Consider having a good sized Emergency Fund in the future, in addition to various tax sheltered accounts...
by The Wizard
Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5254

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

Victoria, Does it really matter on what and how you prepare the food. It is food. and If you dont like the preparation, prep another way the next time. This is true, itstoomuch. The reason for my questions is that the Asian cuisine seems too complex for my preferences. And people, like the woman in...
by The Wizard
Sun Oct 15, 2017 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you buy in Asian food stores?
Replies: 86
Views: 5254

Re: What do you buy in Asian food stores?

I also go to H-mart, in Burlington, MA, every month or so. It's an incredibly boggling place to shop if you're just barely into Oriental cooking, as I am. My regular purchases would be rice, sesame oils, various frozen dumplings, kim chi, and usually some fresh produce to experiment with. Their rice...
by The Wizard
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?
Replies: 49
Views: 2587

Re: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?

Anyone who assumes the identity of a deceased person has committed fraud. Most folks understand this concept and financial institutions know how to track them down if they violate this concept. Well, of course. But it's also fraud to arrange somehow to arrange to have a deceased parent's death not ...
by The Wizard
Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: X times salary, backwards calculation?
Replies: 23
Views: 2180

Re: X times salary, backwards calculation?

Actually, I did find a heuristic formula, and as is usually the case, I complicated the question way beyond where I should have. Retirement age really has little to do with it. It's just a simple calculation of desired income and withdrawal rate. Thus: x = desire income y = withdrawal rate z = prin...
by The Wizard
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: X times salary, backwards calculation?
Replies: 23
Views: 2180

Re: X times salary, backwards calculation?

You likely won't find a good answer on this forum.
For instance, if my salary is $100k but I save 30% for retirement, then what is my effective salary?

The Expenses People will be along shortly to complicate things even further...
by The Wizard
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]
Replies: 26
Views: 3219

Re: Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018

My net SS check after Medicare goes down from year to year... My understanding is that people already enrolled in SS and Medicare are held harmless and exempt from Medicare increases when the SS cost of living does not increase. The increases are paid by Medicare recipients not held harmless. Did y...
by The Wizard
Sat Oct 14, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?
Replies: 49
Views: 2587

Re: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?

I have the impression that this sort of thing happens frequently with Social Security so they have a fraud team of some sort trying to minimize this illegal activity.
I have no idea what their numbers over the past decade look like...
by The Wizard
Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuities-when and why?
Replies: 94
Views: 12776

Re: Annuities-when and why?

I have a pension, my wife's SSA, and some day my SSA. That's enough annuities for me. I think I can get a better return through investing than with annuities. Possibly, but just be aware that a 7% withdrawal ratio may not succeed in all instances... Please explain where the 7% withdrawal ratio came...
by The Wizard
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]
Replies: 26
Views: 3219

Re: Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018

So the follow-up question is: how much will the Medicare higher IRMAA tiers go up for 2018?
I forget when that info comes out.

Would be nice if my Medicare goes up only 5% this year.
My net SS check after Medicare goes down from year to year...
by The Wizard
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: IRMAA, MAGI and ROTH Conversion
Replies: 4
Views: 380

Re: IRMAA, MAGI and ROTH Conversion

Just make a reasonable estimate of tax exempt interest and then Roth convert in mid December to get your MAGI to around $169,000...
by The Wizard
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 5072

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

My workplace offers Roth 401K in addition to Traditional 401K. I read that Roth is good if you expect that you'll be in a higher tax bracket in retirement. I'm currently in 25% and I'll be in a higher tax bracket prior to retirement. What about in retirement? DW and I were in the 25% bracket just b...
by The Wizard
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Too old to invest at 70+ years?
Replies: 32
Views: 2411

Re: Too old to invest at 70+ years?

This is a touchy topic.
One usual question that often arises is: have they asked for your help?

One likely scenario is a stock market drop of 20% or more next year a few months after they put a portion of their funds into a total stock index fund.
Can you imagine what will happen then?
by The Wizard
Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Bracket in Retirement
Replies: 46
Views: 5072

Re: Tax Bracket in Retirement

In the absence of a pension, the biggest issue is the size of your tax deferred accounts at retirement. This includes 401(k), 403(b), and Traditional IRA accounts. I annuitized a good portion of my 403(b) accumulation, getting a 6.5% to 7% payout from those funds, vs the 3% to 4% swr some folks cons...
by The Wizard
Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Will it be a mistake to buy VTSMX today?
Replies: 50
Views: 6384

Re: Will it be a mistake to buy VTSMX today?

Most likely a silly question here but are we all assuming that 401K and IRA are maxed when investing in after tax dollars? Not for me. Investing in my after tax (taxable) account is about the only option available to me anymore with very little earned income. I may be doing some part-time work befo...
by The Wizard
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 4787

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

Mitchell777 wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:47 pm
It often depends where you are in life. For many years I assumed I had more time left than I had money. Much later, more money than time left. It can really change ones spending habits.
This is an excellent observation!
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2554

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

If someone asks for it in the future I will tell them to use government-approved information systems to verify the information. If they can't do that, then *they* are probably trying to scam *me*. Indeed. I filed for divorced spousal SS benefits in person just fine without a SS card just fine. It's...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 2554

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

Having survived without a SS card for 40 years or so, I have no intention of getting a replacement now.
My US passport will have to suffice.
If I encounter negative vibes, I shall scowl at the scoundrels and go elsewhere...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:50 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: 2017 Annual Conference Bogleheads Vegans & Vegetarians
Replies: 4
Views: 814

Re: 2017 Annual Conference Bogleheads Vegans & Vegetarians

Potential imposters are a problem, yes.
There's only the one night for going out somewhere to eat, so the past attendees should just sign up to get a paddle and lead a group to a vegan place or whatever.
Easily enough done...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity explanation for Chuck
Replies: 0
Views: 229

Annuity explanation for Chuck

Excerpted from a locked thread: Wed Oct 11, 2017 4:14 pm The Wizard wrote: ↑ But I'm all in favor of having large pension and/or annuity income each month in retirement as well. But I only do Immediate Annuities. When I throw the switch on another $100K at TIAA, the additional income starts the foll...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Protecting against the possibility of a correction?
Replies: 45
Views: 3880

Re: Protecting against the possibility of a correction?

In general I try to "stay the course" and just stick with a plan, but in times like this (market hitting all-time highs multiple times within a short period) I also do what I think of as "trimming", which is to sell off small portions ($5K - $10K here or there) of over-performing equity funds and p...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Protecting against the possibility of a correction?
Replies: 45
Views: 3880

Re: Protecting against the possibility of a correction?

It appears that the common wisdom here (in a Bogle philosophy) is that the greatest risk is the attempt to mitigate risk with a complicated strategy. Bogle is often attributed with the remark "don't do something, stand there" during times of turbulence. Protecting against a correction is market tim...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity replacing SS shortfall?
Replies: 14
Views: 921

Re: Annuity replacing SS shortfall?

Sounds like mental accounting. Either you need the annuity or you don't. Whether it is replacing SS or not is irrelevant. I'm not sure about that. I'll be getting ~$3500/month from SS at age 70 in a few years. If the payout was to decline 30% as some folks fear, then I'd be getting $1050 less per m...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Protecting against the possibility of a correction?
Replies: 45
Views: 3880

Re: Protecting against the possibility of a correction?

runner3081 wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:12 am
Once the correction comes, will try to scrap as much money together to buy more!
Yes, but just remember to wait for the correction to hit bottom first...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity replacing SS shortfall?
Replies: 14
Views: 921

Re: Annuity replacing SS shortfall?

I'm not at all concerned about SS hitting the wall and reducing payouts. A fix will be devised before that happens. But I'm all in favor of having large pension and/or annuity income each month in retirement as well. But I only do Immediate Annuities. When I throw the switch on another $100K at TIAA...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boston area Relocation...major decision points
Replies: 34
Views: 2792

Re: Boston area Relocation...major decision points

I would explore living in Winchester. It is a beautiful little town just south of Woburn. It is nicer than Woburn, a little closer to Boston, and with a Commuter Rail station that will allow you to take the train into Boston if you wish. Winchester is definitely nice but upscale, as is Lexington wh...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 13652

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

MMM= preach living in poverty to everyone, while accumulating millions in a "side-job" by boggling. Disengenuous if you ask me. This will come to roost when he ages and can no longer live happily in poverty. Bogleheads=Living below your means and investing to maintain a standard of living until old...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 13652

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

I think that in MMM’s application of the 4% SWR rule, he allows for inflation increase. That said, I think his adherents do not sufficiently take into account the possibility that they will be locked out of future real increases in the standard of living. He won’t be, because he will have millions ...
by The Wizard
Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]
Replies: 203
Views: 13652

Re: [Boglehead vs Mr Money Mustache philosophies]

This thread is a tempest in a teapot. What is the point? Everything one needs to know about BH "philosophy" is in the Wiki and MMM's philosophy is probably similarly accessible. I don't think so. There's a lot more lifestyle related things that go way beyond the BH Wiki. It takes time reading the f...