Search found 289 matches

by artthomp
Mon Jul 25, 2016 4:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What does "full retirement age" really mean for SS?
Replies: 5
Views: 1041

Re: What does "full retirement age" really mean for SS?

I retired early at the suggestion of a Social Security representative. I had originally called to start Medicare part B. The conversation began this way as I remember "Why aren't you just retiring?" I was still working so she helped me retire at the beginning of the year in 2006 but held m...
by artthomp
Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?
Replies: 110
Views: 6735

Re: Declining or Rising equity allocation in retirement?

At the present it looks to me that we will have enough money for the rest of our lives. I am considering changing my portfolio allocation to provide a greater inheritance for our children. This would of course imply a greater equity allocation.
by artthomp
Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis
Replies: 119
Views: 8418

Re: Reliving the Nightmare of the Crisis

I was down the value of my house (paid off in 1996) in 2009 and I decided not to re-balance (It would have required extensive selling of my fixed term portfolio). I would have been ahead if I had re-balanced since my overall portfolio hit all time highs in 2009!
by artthomp
Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: House value vs Net worth %?
Replies: 21
Views: 2228

Re: House value vs Net worth %?

76 years old - retired - House was paid off in 1996 - county appraisal today is approximately 15% of net worth.
by artthomp
Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is your taxable account investing strategy?
Replies: 29
Views: 2916

Re: What is your taxable account investing strategy?

I'm 76 years old so I have been taking IRS Required Minimum Distributions since 2010. I still have approximately 80% of the investments I manage in a traditional IRA. After I take out my federal and state taxes for the year from the distribution I have been re-investing the excess in taxable equitie...
by artthomp
Tue Jul 12, 2016 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income
Replies: 40
Views: 5169

Re: Tax Preparation--Anyone try this as second income

I took the H&R Block training in 2006 and worked for them that spring. Unfortunately my family likes to go to spring training in Jupiter, Florida for the month of March which is H&R Block's busy season. So I retired after one season with them. I thought the training was pretty good but do no...
by artthomp
Tue Jul 12, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?
Replies: 76
Views: 3684

Re: Do you have any retiree healthcare benefit from your employer?

I'm 76 years old and my former employer promised me a full early retirement and full retirement medical originally. My company did drop their employment insurance for me and my wife a couple or years ago but they now provide Medi-gap and Medicare-advantage selection support through Towers Watson One...
by artthomp
Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What's your asset allocation and why?
Replies: 103
Views: 5432

Re: What's your asset allocation and why?

I'm am 76 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). Note 1: I didn't want to use their fund directly for tax reasons. For example, as I take IRS Required Distributions I am investing excess t...
by artthomp
Sat Jul 09, 2016 11:23 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Please Try Out Test Posts Here
Replies: 131
Views: 139805

Re: Please Try Out Test Posts Here

Test - Art
by artthomp
Tue May 31, 2016 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retirement investments
Replies: 13
Views: 1052

Re: Help with retirement investments

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
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: 1158

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: 2153

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: 2836

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: 7355

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: 2490

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: 1981

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: 1543

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: 4903

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: 11137

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: 4295

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: 808

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: 2486

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: 5610

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: 3260

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: 15791

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: 2116

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: 6711

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: 223

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: 1983

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: 1419

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: 2133

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: 607
Views: 178725

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: 657

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: 767

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: 871

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: 6999

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: 707

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: 251
Views: 20468

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: 4497

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: 7707

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: 2517

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: 2161

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: 6970

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: 1576

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: 5241

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: 13535

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: 1574

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: 17246

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...

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