Search found 185 matches

by cjcerny
Tue Dec 12, 2017 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Tires? Worth it?
Replies: 128
Views: 4786

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: 1554

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: 4523

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: 375

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: 1939

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: 820

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: 1021

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: 2016

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: 951

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: 7849

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: 1806

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: 1806

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: 1806

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: 12561

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: 7555

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: 2395

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: 4743

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: 2313

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: 2313

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: 59
Views: 13784

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: 8586

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: 6102

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: 6739

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: 65
Views: 9135

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: 6500

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: 4717

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: 3280

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: 5333

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: 3951

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: 2763

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: 21134

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: 3706

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: 2396

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 ...
by cjcerny
Thu May 04, 2017 6:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A Boglehead Guide to Buying Individual Stocks
Replies: 85
Views: 7965

Re: A Boglehead Guide to Buying Individual Stocks

There's a chapter on buying stocks in Millionaire Teacher that I thought was pretty good.
by cjcerny
Wed May 03, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My dad needs my help.
Replies: 50
Views: 5700

Re: My dad needs my help.

Move everything to Vanguard. Put 40% in Total Stock Market Index fund. Put 60% in Total Bond Market Index fund. Or, put 100% of it in Vanguard's Wellesley fund. Withdraw no more than 4% a year from the total portfolio, including dividends.That's it. No adviser of any kind needed. It really is just t...
by cjcerny
Wed May 03, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg
Replies: 94
Views: 12714

Re: Ted Seides "Why I lost My Bet With Warren Buffett" - Bloomberg

Mr. Seides should just graciously admit that Mr. Buffett won the bet for all the reasons Mr. Buffett said he would win the bet. But, he can't do that. His livelihood would be at stake. Active management can work well in very limited circumstances. Vanguard's actively managed Wellington and Wellesley...
by cjcerny
Wed Apr 26, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One Fund? Really?
Replies: 49
Views: 6706

Re: One Fund? Really?

If you will be forced to withdraw from this fund on a yearly basis at some point (RMD), I do not like the 1 fund idea. I think it would be better to have two funds with a low correlation so that you will always have a fund that is doing well that year to withdraw that RMD from. Why would this matte...
by cjcerny
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?
Replies: 83
Views: 6270

Re: $300+ to remove a racoon. Really?

Havahart trap with a dollup of peanut butter on the trigger almost always works. Just have to find a nice place to turn that critter loose.
by cjcerny
Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One Fund? Really?
Replies: 49
Views: 6706

Re: One Fund? Really?

If you will be forced to withdraw from this fund on a yearly basis at some point (RMD), I do not like the 1 fund idea. I think it would be better to have two funds with a low correlation so that you will always have a fund that is doing well that year to withdraw that RMD from.
by cjcerny
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Brand New Investor Help
Replies: 11
Views: 849

Re: Brand New Investor Help

1) Keep it super simple. 2) Keep your costs super low. No real need to consider a target date fund or ETFs. Those are just going to add to your costs in the long run. Don't worry about buying the bonds now if you can afford the $3k opening cost of buying Total Bond Market Index. Buy them next year w...
by cjcerny
Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 29 Year old New Investor Needs help- Vanguard Index Funds
Replies: 47
Views: 4653

Re: 29 Year old New Investor Needs help- Vanguard Index Funds

The Lifestrategy and Target Date funds are good choices, but you do pay a premium to use them rather than just buying total market index funds. I would just save up that $200 a month until you have enough $$ to buy Total Stock Market Index this year and then do the same thing again next year with To...
by cjcerny
Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I bother with a 401k at present?
Replies: 25
Views: 2356

Re: Should I bother with a 401k at present?

Always contribute enough to get the match, even if the expenses on the investment choices you have available to you are lousy.
by cjcerny
Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best cruise
Replies: 50
Views: 4609

Re: Best cruise

You can get a 5 day cruise for $350 a person if you shop it right. And, if you can drive to the departure port rather than fly, you'll save even more money. I've been a number of different bargain and upscale cruise lines and I think a lot of whether you enjoy yourself just comes down to your own at...
by cjcerny
Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which book is best to start with ?
Replies: 12
Views: 1277

Re: Which book is best to start with ?

I would actually start with Jane Quinn Bryant's "How To Make Your Money Last". I think it is more cohesive than the two mentioned while still advocating index investing. Heresy, I know. :happy
by cjcerny
Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help on how to spend more on myself (First World Whine)
Replies: 93
Views: 7189

Re: Help on how to spend more on myself (First World Whine)

I have the same problem as the OP. The only real way I trick myself into buying any toys is to buy them used (usually Craigslist) and then sell them again after I have had my way with them. That way, I trick myself into thinking that I've only borrowed them and that it hasn't cost me a lot of money ...
by cjcerny
Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Economics of Charging an Electric Car
Replies: 85
Views: 7497

Re: Economics of Charging an Electric Car

I pay about 6 cents for a KWh here in Akron. Definitely pricey at 19 cents. I believe the eMPG numbers used to calculate the MPG equivalent of an electric car is about 12 cents.
by cjcerny
Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Vehicle Front Seats
Replies: 105
Views: 18205

Re: Comfortable Vehicle Front Seats

Kia Optima.

Consumer Reports has comfort ratings for the front and rear seats of every vehicle they review, by the way.
by cjcerny
Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T
Replies: 16
Views: 1828

Re: Purchasing a 2017 Hyundai Sonata Sport 2.0T

Sure you don't want to try a Kia Optima before you buy that Sonata?
by cjcerny
Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:02 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's recommendation
Replies: 15
Views: 2093

Re: Vanguard's recommendation

Questionnaires are silly, I think. I would use something like m and run a backtest using your actual portfolio $$ values and then look at what the last bear would have done to your nest egg in $$. If you can stomach, for example, your bottom line going from like $400k to $240k with your current allo...
by cjcerny
Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor
Replies: 39
Views: 3931

Re: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor

The only way to get people to change is for them to hear or read the same advice from a number of people, especially someone they know and/or trust. Even then, they will be reluctant to do so because they will be embarrassed about their poor decision making. Feed her many links and publications that...