Search found 202 matches

by cjcerny
Tue May 15, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman
Replies: 81
Views: 4358

Re: College laptop for fall 2018 freshman

Dell XP3 13 is a great choice.
by cjcerny
Tue May 15, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: At a crossroads. Does my plan make sense?
Replies: 29
Views: 2647

Re: At a crossroads. Does my plan make sense?

I don't think you need to annuitize anything. Annuities are a vehicle for someone who runs the risk of outliving their savings. You are nowhere close to that. You can safely withdraw 4% a year from your $6.2m which would give you almost 3 times your monthly expenses. At this point, all your decision...
by cjcerny
Mon May 14, 2018 8:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are bonds really needed - why not 100% stocks?
Replies: 71
Views: 5315

Re: Are bonds really needed - why not 100% stocks?

I'm of the opinion that not everyone needs bonds. But, I would also caution that thinking you can stomach the volatility of a 100% stock portfolio and actually doing it are two totally different things. If you have any doubt at all about whether you can, or you have enough money already to where you...
by cjcerny
Mon May 14, 2018 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cars similar to Toyota Corolla LE that I should consider for purchase?
Replies: 26
Views: 2056

Re: Cars similar to Toyota Corolla LE that I should consider for purchase?

Why not just another Prius? Maybe too expensive? Go used. New hybrid Camry is also a great car. Corolla and Camry would be the only non-hybrid cars I would consider for replacing a Prius.
by cjcerny
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Another Warren Buffett S&P 500 Recommendation
Replies: 76
Views: 7261

Re: Another Warren Buffett S&P 500 Recommendation

There's so little performance difference between a low cost S&P 500 index and a low cost total stock index that I don't know why anyone would doubt whether they were following Buffett's advice if they owned one versus the other. Personally, I think Buffett would be fine with either and likely doesn'...
by cjcerny
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is my computer obsolete?
Replies: 60
Views: 4223

Re: Is my computer obsolete?

Replace the hard drive with a SSD and it will be lightning fast. Win 10 upgrade at the same time will get you many more years out of this computer. Contact local computer shop for help with upgrading to a SSD and Win 10 if you are not familiar with those processes.
by cjcerny
Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 5739

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

New Camry Hybrid. Highway MPG is around 50. Go for the XLE trim if you want something a little more upscale.
by cjcerny
Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can I Invest 4 million dollars to earn 120k (inflation adjusted) a year for life?
Replies: 93
Views: 17364

Re: How can I Invest 4 million dollars to earn 120k (inflation adjusted) a year for life?

@cjcerny Thanks, will look into that. Any recommendations? A SPIA (single premium immediate annuity) is a simple insurance contract. You give an insurance company as much money as you want to and they, in turn, pay you a guaranteed monthly amount for as long as you live based on their calculations ...
by cjcerny
Wed Apr 11, 2018 6:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How can I Invest 4 million dollars to earn 120k (inflation adjusted) a year for life?
Replies: 93
Views: 17364

Re: How can I Invest 4 million dollars to earn 120k (inflation adjusted) a year for life?

Sounds like you should be considering purchasing a simple fixed annuity with some or all of that $4 million.
by cjcerny
Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment Strategy for 40 year old
Replies: 8
Views: 894

Re: Investment Strategy for 40 year old

FrugalMutts wrote: ↑
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:59 am
And one follow-up question, I tend to get overwhelmed trying to educate myself on the internet. Recommendations for another book to read next as accessible as the Collins book?
The Index Card by Olen and Pollack
by cjcerny
Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I take an 85+% pay cut for fun?
Replies: 80
Views: 9198

Re: Can I take an 85+% pay cut for fun?

I would just tough it out for another 5 or 10 years at the job you hate and then retire. Seems highly feasible given your current savings rates.
by cjcerny
Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I saving too much for retirement?
Replies: 105
Views: 13239

Re: Am I saving too much for retirment?

Good luck finding a retired person that says "I wish I hadn't saved so much for retirement." :D
by cjcerny
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds - Am I missing something
Replies: 89
Views: 7169

Re: Bonds - Am I missing something

1. 20 years until retirement 2. Not risk averse, invest monthly, will contribute even more during a downturn 3. 100% equity aside from my emergency fund. Do bonds serve any point whatsoever for someone still in the "Accumulation Phase" with the mental fortitude to not panic during a downturn ? Am I...
by cjcerny
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:25 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds - Am I missing something
Replies: 89
Views: 7169

Re: Bonds - Am I missing something

1. 20 years until retirement 2. Not risk averse, invest monthly, will contribute even more during a downturn 3. 100% equity aside from my emergency fund. Do bonds serve any point whatsoever for someone still in the "Accumulation Phase" with the mental fortitude to not panic during a downturn ? Am I...
by cjcerny
Mon Jan 08, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Phone Plan for 1 person
Replies: 86
Views: 4118

Re: Best Phone Plan for 1 person

$29.88/month for unlimited talk and text with 3gb of data at Walmart Family Mobile. Republic Wireless also worth a look.
by cjcerny
Thu Jan 04, 2018 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What First Steps to Take to Help Me Become Financially Independent
Replies: 13
Views: 1430

Re: What First Steps to Take to Help Me Become Financially Independent

If I were in your shoes, my first step would be to invest only enough money in your 401k to get the full employer match. I would not invest a dime until I paid off the student debt. An emergency fund would also be a higher priority than investing.
by cjcerny
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 147
Views: 7598

Re: Snow Tires? Worth it?

A good set of snow tires (like Michelin X-Ice) are way better than all season tires on snow and ice regardless of what kind of vehicle they are on. They also wear out a lot faster if you are not driving on snow and ice and have to come off promptly when Spring arrives. Definitely expensive, but defi...
by cjcerny
Wed Dec 06, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone mirror AA acorss multiple accounts ?
Replies: 23
Views: 1875

Re: Anyone mirror AA acorss multiple accounts ?

For me mirroring would not be easier. I have 9 accounts. Most of the accounts only have a single fund. My two largest accounts (401k, taxable) have multiple funds. All rebalancing is done in the 401k and taxable. I set up a spreadsheet a number of years ago that makes it really easy to manage. I th...
by cjcerny
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are plasma TV's gone forever?
Replies: 36
Views: 4961

Re: Are plasma TV's gone forever?

Weight and heat killed plasma. OLED picture quality is even better, without either weight or heat. OLED prices will drop.
by cjcerny
Fri Dec 01, 2017 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice/evaluation
Replies: 3
Views: 500

Re: Portfolio advice/evaluation

I think you'll be fine just owning the S&P500 fund in your 401k. There is very little difference between the performance of a S&P500 fund and a total stock market fund. A savings account or CD or money market account or high interest checking account are all perfectly acceptable choices for an emerg...
by cjcerny
Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad
Replies: 30
Views: 2318

Re: Chromebook/Similar for Elderly Dad

I would seriously consider an iPad rather than a Chromebook. Chromebook is great tool for folks who need to simple work like word processing, spreadsheets, surfing, etc. If you need something super simple, easy to use for someone that doesn't doesn't do hardly any typing and doesn't need to do "work...
by cjcerny
Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone adding in specific Funds for heirs
Replies: 13
Views: 981

Re: Anyone adding in specific Funds for heirs

I actually do everything based on what would be the most simple and straightforward for my heirs to handle, even though I know I could spend less on expenses and taxes if I were to do something else. My 401k, Roth IRA, and cash accounts are all in Vanguard's Balanced Index Fund. I did that for three...
by cjcerny
Wed Oct 04, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite
Replies: 11
Views: 1192

Re: TV DVR Dilemnia: OTA or Satellite

There are really cheap OTA DVR options out there. For example, if you have a PC that runs Win 7 in your house, you can buy a very inexpensive USB OTA tuner for it and use the Media Center functionality that Win 7 has. There are a couple of other OTA DVR choices out there too, but they are usually $2...
by cjcerny
Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ICE, hybrid, Phev, electric for short trips
Replies: 36
Views: 2257

Re: ICE, hybrid, Phev, electric for short trips

This will sound crazy but, if I were only making occasional 3-5 mile trips, and the routes were amenable to it, I would just supplement a regular car with a bicycle. The Earth will thank you. Your body will thank you.
by cjcerny
Fri Jul 21, 2017 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with 78 yo widow's investments
Replies: 8
Views: 1044

Re: Help with 78 yo widow's investments

Monte Carlo says she has an excellent chance of getting $9000 a year from a $116k portfolio for 11 years. If she lives longer than that, though, chances are very strong that she will run out of money. I would consider a single premium immediate annuity for her. A simple fixed annuity is a great opti...
by cjcerny
Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?
Replies: 123
Views: 8804

Re: Would you let your teenager spend all his savings on a gaming computer?

I think there are a couple of angles to this one: One, you don't need to spend $1800 to get a decent gaming computer. You can get something decent on sale at your local Microcenter for about $600 that will do a great job with games. You can also troll Craigslist for used gaming computer parts. There...
by cjcerny
Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?
Replies: 21
Views: 2385

Re: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?

As said, state requirements are different. In my state it is recommended that a potential client apply even though you aren't sure you are eligible. So, I suggest your friends apply and not have to guess. They've both already qualified. I'm just confused as to how someone with a lot of assets who i...
by cjcerny
Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?
Replies: 21
Views: 2385

Re: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?

For clarification, you are talking about health care, not long term custodial care, right? I think in that case in some states only income is considered. Right--talking about health care here. Income only seems like a stupid crazy way to determine if someone is eligible for Medicaid health care, by...
by cjcerny
Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?
Replies: 21
Views: 2385

Is Medicaid eligibility based only on income or are assets included too?

So, I'm perplexed...I have a couple of friends (they are married to each other) who both currently have low enough incomes to apparently qualify for Medicaid. They also happen to have a home that's worth about $350k (paid for) and some land that's worth another $150k (paid for) or so. Should a coupl...
by cjcerny
Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?
Replies: 159
Views: 14817

Re: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?

I'd say LTC insurance is worth it if you don't have enough money when you retire money to self-insure against an average long term care stay. I think the average cost of long term care is about $250k or so. So, if you are retiring with $3 million, you have self-insured against the typical LTC costs....
by cjcerny
Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard recommended Retirement allocation too simple?
Replies: 70
Views: 8540

Re: Vanguard recommended Retirement allocation too simple?

I would posit that the recommendation is not too simple, but too complex. I am of the opinion that you can do without both international funds. The extra diversification certainly doesn't hurt but, historically, it hasn't really helped that much either, at least in this country. However, I do conced...
by cjcerny
Mon Jul 03, 2017 7:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Our $101K "Problem" <--that much in cash savings
Replies: 16
Views: 2583

Re: Our $101K "Problem" <--that much in cash savings

Why is your wife against opening a cash account? I have 200k in cash outside of my retirement accounts (I inherited cash) and it isn't criminal or scary. Tax is the only downside, and it's pretty minimal if you invest in Vanguard's Total Stock Market index fund and just leave it alone. I just keep m...
by cjcerny
Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?
Replies: 72
Views: 5618

Re: Getting a new cooktop, gas vs electric?

I think an electric smoothtop is the way to go given all the current choices. I have not found mine to be fragile.
by cjcerny
Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for relative with mostly cash and 7-10 years to retirement?
Replies: 25
Views: 2576

Re: Advice for relative with mostly cash and 7-10 years to retirement?

If they have a mortgage then paying that off might be a good choice for a risk averse person. This is an excellent suggestion. Prepaying any debt they might have is a great first choice, if available. I guess I would also point out that it's OK to leave people to their own devices, even if you know...
by cjcerny
Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for relative with mostly cash and 7-10 years to retirement?
Replies: 25
Views: 2576

Re: Advice for relative with mostly cash and 7-10 years to retirement?

I think the discussion is all about asset allocation in the sense that you need to understand why it is that they have avoided any bond or stock investing to this point. Maybe they are just have no tolerance for any volatility. Maybe they don't understand inflation. Has to be one of those or somewhe...
by cjcerny
Tue Jun 20, 2017 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking progress to $1M portfolio and no mortgage by 40
Replies: 85
Views: 19811

Re: Tracking progress to $1M portfolio and no mortgage by 40

If it were me, I would want goals that are more under my control. So, for example, rather than setting a goal of "I want my portfolio to be worth X by year YYYY", I would have a goal of "I want contribute $xxxx in year YYYY to my portfolio". That is a goal that you can strive for. If the stock marke...
by cjcerny
Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ok reasons for a 37 year old to have a 60/40 mix?
Replies: 61
Views: 9613

Re: Ok reasons for a 37 year old to have a 60/40 mix?

I'm 50 and all in on Vanguard's Balanced Index Fund. No plan to change once I retire, but I will if I find the volatility to be unnerving at that point. All my investment decision making is made based on the volatility. I've found a level that I am completely comfortable with.
by cjcerny
Tue May 30, 2017 6:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mouse In Apartment
Replies: 55
Views: 6896

Re: Mouse In Apartment

Any kind of trap with a dab of peanut butter on it will reel in them meeces. Capture or kill enough of them and they will likely not return.
by cjcerny
Fri May 26, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for advice/reassurance on what to do with $4-5m
Replies: 63
Views: 7166

Re: Looking for advice/reassurance on what to do with $4-5m

If you invest that 4-5 million in low cost stock and bond indexes, you can easily withdraw 3% a year from it for life. You don't have to work any more if you don't want to.
by cjcerny
Thu May 18, 2017 10:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 100% VTSAX need advice [Vanguard Total Stock Market]
Replies: 66
Views: 11676

Re: 100% VTSAX need advice

It's all about volatility, really. 100% VTSAX will leave you with a portfolio that could cause you a lot of stress, especially if you are retired and are no longer receiving a paycheck. The upside to a 100% VTSAX portfolio is that you will likely do better than any portfolio containing bonds over th...
by cjcerny
Mon May 15, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]
Replies: 66
Views: 7529

Re: Check engine light. Toyota Avalon 2006, 155K miles [safety issue?]

Probably a bad oxygen sensor somewhere or a pressure leak in the fuel system. I would swing by an Auto Zone on a weekday evening (when they are not so busy) and have them read the code from the computer for you. In general, check engine lights are cautions that you do want to get fixed eventually bu...
by cjcerny
Thu May 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my friend give away his estate
Replies: 34
Views: 4986

Re: Help my friend give away his estate

Why doesn't your friend just give the money he wants to charities he wants to now while he is still alive? Why wait? Then, give the kids what is left in the will.
by cjcerny
Thu May 11, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking advice for retirees (age 69, perhaps $3 MM) that are unhappy with their advisors
Replies: 34
Views: 3477

Re: Seeking advice for retirees (age 69, perhaps $3 MM) that are unhappy with their advisors

The real goal is to convince them that they don't actually need a financial adviser. They have to be unprogrammed from thinking that investing can only be performed successfully using the very expensive help of such a person. If you can do that, the rest will fall into place, as they simply need to ...
by cjcerny
Thu May 11, 2017 6:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?
Replies: 55
Views: 5909

Re: Travel tips for first time visitors to England and France?

I would put my paws on the relevant Rick Steve's books and use many of his recommendations. He also typically has sections in them along the lines of "I have 3, 4, 5, etc. days in Paris", what should I do?
by cjcerny
Wed May 10, 2017 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 18" vs 20" Tires
Replies: 39
Views: 6340

Re: 18" vs 20" Tires

I am thinking about buying a new SUV. I see the same car at two different dealers with the exception of wheel/tire size. SUV #1 has 18" Painted Aluminum Wheels SUV #2 has 20" Polished Aluminum Wheels for $1,295 more. How does the SUV handle on different tires sizes? Is 18" more for comfort and 20" ...
by cjcerny
Tue May 09, 2017 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where to park my fat stacks [money]?
Replies: 20
Views: 2926

Re: Where to park my fat stacks [money]?

Short term and intermediate term treasuries are a great portfolio stabilizer. You really don't need anything else other than a Total Stock Market fund.
by cjcerny
Fri May 05, 2017 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why save so much for when you're old?
Replies: 163
Views: 22326

Re: Why save so much for when you're old?

Hi, I'm 24 yrs old and almost one year into my actuarial career (first real job). I expect to make good money in the future and have started investing since I was hired. My question is why is saving a lot for retirement so important? I get that we need money for when we're retired and no longer hav...
by cjcerny
Fri May 05, 2017 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing in Vanguard's Wellesley Income fund for 10 years to buy car
Replies: 22
Views: 4030

Re: Investing in Vanguard's Wellesley Income fund for 10 years to buy car

I wouldn't invest any money in stocks that I needed on a certain date. Short term bond fund would be as much volatility as I would take on for such savings.
by cjcerny
Fri May 05, 2017 7:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window Replacement Question
Replies: 20
Views: 2588

Re: Window Replacement Question

You will not recoup the cost of the replacement windows. New windows--especially if you don't do your homework and get good windows--are not going be much more efficient than the windows you have now. If you are looking to make your house more energy efficient, more insulation and sealing your duct ...