Search found 279 matches

by artthomp
Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help deciding if to ditch my financial advisor and DIY
Replies: 13
Views: 1095

Re: Help deciding if to ditch my financial advisor and DIY

The last time I checked the average Vanguard investor had an average Expense Ratio (ER) of .18%. I model my portfolio after the Vanguard Retirement Income Portfolio using entirely Index Funds and Index ETFs and my expense ratio is .10%. I'm 76 years old and I re-balance once a year. I don't think yo...
by artthomp
Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy part F Medicare?
Replies: 28
Views: 1997

Re: Where to buy part F Medicare?

You might consider a high-deductible Medicare F plan (around $2,000 deductible). Our premiums are about one/half what a full Medicare F plan costs and we come out ahead money-wise almost every year.
by artthomp
Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BEST Portfolio Tracker
Replies: 33
Views: 2604

Re: BEST Portfolio Tracker

I think the best portfolio tracker for me is the MS EXCEL spreadsheet I created. Since my portfolio is 100% Vanguard Index Funds and ETFs, I don't really need a X-Ray program to tell me the Fund and ETF allocations. Also, I can download the current values of the funds and ETFs anytime I want, copy t...
by artthomp
Wed Apr 13, 2016 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?
Replies: 79
Views: 6937

Re: Retirees: what's your Withdrawal Rate for this and last year?

We are retired and have Social Security income and a pension. I am 76 years old so I have to make IRS Required Distributions from which I deduct all of our federal and state income taxes. including money used for vacations last year we withdrew 2.6% and this year we withdrew 2.0% investing the rest ...
by artthomp
Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D
Replies: 34
Views: 2272

Re: Medicare Part D

My wife and I are on Medicare. I need 3 prescription drugs. Two years ago I was able to get them through Medicare Part D for $120/year. Last year that insurance company raised the cost to me above $1,000 so I used http://www.medicare.gov to try and find the least cost insurance for my generic prescr...
by artthomp
Sat Mar 05, 2016 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much fed tax do you withhold?
Replies: 22
Views: 1890

Re: How much fed tax do you withhold?

We withhold 100% of our estimated federal and state taxes from my IRS Required Minimum Distribution (I will turn 76 this month). We spend some of the distribution and reinvest the rest in taxable Vanguard equity accounts.
by artthomp
Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Accountant costs
Replies: 18
Views: 1447

Re: Accountant costs

We own farming property in Oklahoma and my wife receives farm rental income from it. All the rest of our earnings come from Missouri. I paid our accountant $250 this year to calculate and help me claim income from the federal government, the state of Missouri, and the state of Oklahoma.
by artthomp
Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What insurance/warranty products do you consider a waste of money?
Replies: 64
Views: 4659

Re: What insurance/warranty products do you consider a waste of money?

I'm 75 years old and I keep getting death insurance offers to cover funeral expenses. When either my wife or I die our estate will easily be able to pay final expenses.
by artthomp
Mon Feb 22, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: End of debit cards for me
Replies: 128
Views: 10661

Re: End of debit cards for me

We arranged to get an ATM only card. We have never had a real debit card and we don't intend to ever get one.
by artthomp
Sun Feb 14, 2016 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retired - do you still save?
Replies: 38
Views: 4197

Re: Retired - do you still save?

I'm 75 years old. I withhold all of my federal and state taxes from my IRS Required Distribution. I also set aside 2% of the investment portfolio for any unexpected expenses when I rebalance. I then reinvest the rest of my IRS Distribution in taxable accounts at Vanguard (I consider this saving). Th...
by artthomp
Sat Feb 13, 2016 2:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Selling ETF Using A Limit Order
Replies: 12
Views: 756

Re: Selling ETF Using A Limit Order

I only buy and sell Vanguard ETFs once a year to rebalance my portfolio. If I'm selling I usually set a limit order for the current bid and if I'm buying I usually set a limit order for the current ask. My orders usually execute immediately. I don't mind missing a fraction of a point since I only tr...
by artthomp
Thu Feb 04, 2016 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security
Replies: 28
Views: 2368

Re: Tax rate on IRA withdrawal when on Social Security

Before we had to take IRS Required Minimum Distributions, we were in a 15% marginal rate (effective rate 12%, 0% capital gains and dividend income rate). As soon as we had to take the IRS Required Minimum Distribution, we jumped to a 25% marginal rate (effective rate 14%, 15% capital gains rate, and...
by artthomp
Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Your Bond Allocation & Location
Replies: 48
Views: 5358

Re: What is Your Bond Allocation & Location

My overall asset allocation is 30% equities / 70% fixed income The fixed income portion is allocated as follows: 2% VMMXX - Vanguard Money Market 38% VBTLX - Vanguard Total Bond Index 16% VTAPX - Vanguard Short-term Inflation-protected Index 14% VTABX - Vanguard Total International Bond Index ------...
by artthomp
Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rebalancing in Retirement.
Replies: 35
Views: 3104

Re: Rebalancing in Retirement.

Since I have to take IRS Required Minimum Distributions (I'm 75 years old), I rebalance once a year in January and take my distribution minus deductions to cover Federal and State taxes. I then plan to invest excess funds in equities for a few more years until my equity allocation is used up (my pla...
by artthomp
Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you pay for exercise?
Replies: 222
Views: 15003

Re: Do you pay for exercise?

We used to pay $220/year for a VIP membership for my wife and I at our city gym. We found out in the last couple of years that our Medigap provider, Humana, participates in a health program known as "Silver Sneakers" which now covers our membership for free (to us).
by artthomp
Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How [much] do CPAs charge for tax prep?
Replies: 15
Views: 2037

Re: How [much] do CPAs charge for tax prep?

Our CPA charged $345 in 2014. We are both retired and have to file taxes in two states and calculate gains and losses from my wife's inherited farm in another state (taxes, rental, and royalties some years).
by artthomp
Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did the bears eat my retirement? - Sequence of Returns Risk
Replies: 70
Views: 6453

Re: Did the bears eat my retirement? - Sequence of Returns Risk

Many of us go to a more conservative asset allocation in retirement. I am 75 years old and my asset allocation is 30% equities/ 70% fixed income (bonds) which is modeled after a the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund (slightly modified).
by artthomp
Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard IRA advice wanted
Replies: 1
Views: 208

Re: Vanguard IRA advice wanted

I have a 100% index funds and ETFs at Vanguard and my Expense Ratio (ER) is 0.10%. I believe the average at Vanguard is 0.15%.
by artthomp
Wed Jan 13, 2016 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you use to calculate total % up or down each year?
Replies: 37
Views: 1870

Re: What do you use to calculate total % up or down each year?

I use Microsoft Excel. I have a spreadsheet that can provide my net worth and the value of all my investments on any given day. I use it to rebalance about once a year
by artthomp
Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Determining US stock as proportion of world stock
Replies: 19
Views: 1357

Re: Determining US stock as proportion of world stock

If you examine the portfolio of the Total World Fund you will see that today North America represents 55.9% of total world equities. If you examine the portfolio of the International Fund you will see that North America - the U. S. represents 6.1% of international equities. A very good estimate of U...
by artthomp
Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is BNDX (total international bond) and its utilization in target date funds terrible?
Replies: 35
Views: 1985

Re: Is BNDX (total international bond) and its utilization in target date funds terrible?

Some time ago I decided to follow the allocation scheme used by the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund (30% equities/70% fixed income) so when they added the Total International Index Bond Fund I modified my allocation plan to include it. Regardless of the factors mentioned over the last year the BND E...
by artthomp
Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Variable Percentage Withdrawal (VPW)
Replies: 599
Views: 173732

Re: Variable Percentage Withdrawal (VPW)

I'm 75 years old and I have a pension and my wife and I are taking Social Security so I have been able to rebalance to 2% cash from the portfolio every year so far. 2002 and 2008 are the only years in which the portfolio did not reach an all time high sometime during the year. I do have to take RMDS...
by artthomp
Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for review of my investment approach
Replies: 6
Views: 618

Re: Looking for review of my investment approach

I'm 75 years old, so I'm using a modified Vanguard Retirement Income asset approach (30 equities/70 fixed income). I only rebalance once a year when I have to take an IRS Required Distribution. In recent years the fixed income and equity allocations have not gotten drastically out of synch over a ye...
by artthomp
Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard ETFs
Replies: 7
Views: 748

Re: Vanguard ETFs

VTINX, the Vanguard Retirement Income Mutual Fund was suggested to me as a good conservative model (I'm 75 years old) The ETFs in proportion that could be used to duplicate the allocation are: 37.3% BND - Total Bond 18.0% VTI - Total Stock 16.8% VTIP - Short-term TIP index 16.0% BNDX - Total Interna...
by artthomp
Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I invest 90.000$ into a Bond Fund in my 401K ?
Replies: 6
Views: 813

Re: Should I invest 90.000$ into a Bond Fund in my 401K ?

I am 75 years old and retired. When I became concerned about my asset allocation (2008-2009), I wrote a private message to the expert Diehard Bond expert, Mel Lindauer. He suggested I look at the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund. I examined it, liked it, and since I'm a fairly conservative investor, ...
by artthomp
Wed Dec 23, 2015 11:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Share your current asset allocation?
Replies: 94
Views: 6636

Re: Share your current asset allocation?

I am 75 years old and retired. I am allocating my IRA, Roth IRA, and my taxable in the proportions of the Vanguard Retirement Income fund (slightly modified). I didn't want to use their fund directly for tax reasons. For example, as I take IRS Required Distributions I am investing excess taxable pro...
by artthomp
Tue Dec 22, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Bike for Arthritic Knees?
Replies: 6
Views: 664

Re: Best Bike for Arthritic Knees?

I'm 75 years old and both of my knees are arthritic but I haven't had a knee replacement yet. In fact I'm afraid to consider any more operations since while I was recovering from hip replacement surgery my knees both got worse. I discovered that while walking was pretty uncomfortable after the hip s...
by artthomp
Mon Dec 14, 2015 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car
Replies: 179
Views: 13355

Re: Flaunt Your High-Mileage Car

2011 Toyota Rav4 - 45,000 miles we drive from St. Louis area to Jupiter Florida each year so we are concerned about reliability and like one of cars to be newer. 2003 Honda CRV - 145,000 miles - local driving - this will probably be our last second car. We have two SUVs because of my arthritis but t...
by artthomp
Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "American Greed" Question
Replies: 35
Views: 4321

Re: "American Greed" Question

Having read of a few of these cases, many people start out with proper intentions, have an initial run of good returns and a resulting inflated sense of their own superior abilities (at stock/property picking, etc). When they (inevitably) mean-revert, they see it as a temporary dip on an exponentia...
by artthomp
Wed Dec 02, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Strategies for RMDs [Required Minimum Distributions]
Replies: 57
Views: 7529

Re: Strategies for RMDs [Required Minimum Distributions]

I take the RMS in January and also rebalance my portfolio (Traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and taxable) in January. I also withhold all my federal and state taxes for the following year from the distribution, set aside the years spending money, and reinvest any excess in taxable.
by artthomp
Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tablet suggestions
Replies: 16
Views: 2448

Re: Tablet suggestions

I purchased an original (refurbished) Apple Ipad for $169 at the local Micro Store.
by artthomp
Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Drag of ETF periodic investments question
Replies: 23
Views: 2077

Re: Drag of ETF periodic investments question

I allow the dividends to accumulate all year in the trust account (taxable), the Roth account, and the traditional IRA account. Once a year when I rebalance the portfolio, I purchase additional ETF shares in each account.
by artthomp
Mon Nov 30, 2015 10:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fixed Asset Allocation for the rest of your life
Replies: 60
Views: 6706

Re: Fixed Asset Allocation for the rest of your life

We have modeled our asset allocation on the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund (slightly modified). That is approximately 70% bonds/ 30% stocks allocated as in the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund is allocated. I am 75 years old and my wife is 74 years old. We hope to leave an estate for our children de...
by artthomp
Mon Nov 16, 2015 10:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity, Vanguard for $100K investment
Replies: 12
Views: 1497

Re: Fidelity, Vanguard for $100K investment

Vanguard just announced a management fee of .3% for accounts of over 50K so it might be worth comparing it to the Fidelity fee if you feel you need portfolio management help.
by artthomp
Wed Oct 28, 2015 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Take RMDs in Jan or Dec? (if investing, not spending RMDs)
Replies: 45
Views: 5048

Re: Take RMDs in Jan or Dec? (if investing, not spending RMDs)

I take the RMS in January and also rebalance my portfolio (Traditional IRA and taxable) in January. I also withhold all my federal and state taxes from the distribution and reinvest any excess in taxable.
by artthomp
Sun Oct 25, 2015 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Guilty pleasures?
Replies: 123
Views: 13044

Re: Guilty pleasures?

Kazper: My "guilty pleasure" is overtipping. During much of my life, raising three children, we could not afford more than the customary tip--even when service was excellent. In recent years (thanks to Jack Bogle) I can afford to give a large tip when I receive above-average service. It g...
by artthomp
Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap choosing lowest premium company
Replies: 19
Views: 1537

Re: Medigap choosing lowest premium company

We only have one Medigap high deductible F policy offered in our Zip area (63011 - Ballwin, MO). I believe the insurance quotes are very fair. My policy is quoted for next year as $85/month (age 75) and my wife's policy is quoted at $75/month (age 74). The problem for us is that we both appear to ha...
by artthomp
Wed Oct 07, 2015 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where in the U.S. can I buy a house for under $250k that's a nice place to live?
Replies: 152
Views: 16892

Re: Where in the U.S. can I buy a house for under $250k that's a nice place to live?

We live one mile from Costco, Walmart, Target, Whole Foods, Best Buy, and other major stores in Ballwin, Missouri. My county real estate appraisal last year was $200K. Newer homes near ours range up to $1M or more. The area near us has grown up greatly since we moved here in 1971. Before the crash o...
by artthomp
Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for Picking a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan
Replies: 34
Views: 2456

Re: Suggestions for Picking a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan

The way I found out that the insurance cost projections were misleading was when I checked the insurance companies website as soon as I got an ID. I still had time to pick another carrier. Another problem with insurance is that we have to make a decision between October 15 and December7. We tried De...
by artthomp
Tue Sep 22, 2015 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Suggestions for Picking a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan
Replies: 34
Views: 2456

Re: Suggestions for Picking a Medicare Part D Prescription Plan

My wife and I are on Medicare. I need 3 prescription drugs. Two years ago I was able to get them through Medicare Part D for $120/year. Last year that insurance company raised the cost to me above $1,000 so I used http://www.medicare.gov to try and find the least cost insurance for my generic prescr...
by artthomp
Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Aug 2015 correction: what Bogleheads did...
Replies: 143
Views: 10784

Re: Aug 2015 correction: what Bogleheads did...

We did nothing. We were on vacation the last of August without access to our Vanguard accounts. We normally rebalance in January when I take my IRS Required Minimum Distribution (I'm 75 years old).
by artthomp
Thu Sep 03, 2015 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ETFs vs. Index Funds
Replies: 10
Views: 604

Re: ETFs vs. Index Funds

ETFs do avoid Vanguards frequent trading policy. If you somehow make a mistake in the amount you want to sell it is not possible to correct online until 90 days have expired! "If you sell or exchange shares of a Vanguard fund, you will not be permitted to buy or exchange back into the same fund...
by artthomp
Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Boglehead Robo-Advisor Spreadsheet
Replies: 12
Views: 2448

Re: Boglehead Robo-Advisor Spreadsheet

I built my own Excel spreadsheet reflecting my allocation plan and how much each asset exceeded or was deficit the planned percentage and amount. I only rebalance once a year but I review the portfolio almost every day. Since I'm retired and 75 years old, I'm using a slightly modified Plan similar t...
by artthomp
Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: [Asset allocation for a] 75 year old
Replies: 12
Views: 1569

Re: [Asset allocation for a] 75 year old

I am 75 years old and retired. When I became concerned about my asset allocation (2008-2009), I wrote a private message to the expert Diehard Bond expert, Mel Lindauer. He suggested I look at the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund. I examined it, liked it, and since I'm a fairly conservative investor, ...
by artthomp
Wed Aug 12, 2015 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retired need to reallocate
Replies: 5
Views: 845

Re: Retired need to reallocate

I am 75 years old and retired. When I became concerned about my asset allocation (2008-2009), I wrote a private message to the expert Diehard Bond expert, Mel Lindauer. He suggested I look at the Vanguard Retirement Income Fund. I examined it, liked it, and since I'm a fairly conservative investor, ...
by artthomp
Wed Aug 12, 2015 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Total World Stock Index
Replies: 54
Views: 6899

Re: Total World Stock Index

1) Many people want less than market weight of international. 2) The two funds separately are a little cheaper (unless things have changed). I agree these are the reasons. There's probably also an ancillary benefit of having more capital loss harvesting opportunities by keeping them separate. It's ...
by artthomp
Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Did You Do In The 2008/2009 Stock Market Crash?
Replies: 51
Views: 4626

Re: What Did You Do In The 2008/2009 Stock Market Crash?

I had only been retired a couple of years when the 2008/2009 Stock Market Crash happened. I normally rebalance our portfolio in January but I did not rebalance in January 2009. Fortunately we do not necessarily need portfolio funds for our daily living expenses since we are both on Social Security a...
by artthomp
Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial/Estate Planning
Replies: 13
Views: 906

Re: Financial/Estate Planning

We originally setup a will and durable powers of attorney - I don't remember now what this cost but I think it was somewhere in the $300 range. IRAs represent the majority of our investable assets and these can be setup to transfer directly to descendents through Vanguard at no charge. When we tried...

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