Search found 1450 matches

by kramer
Mon May 23, 2016 1:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adding a tilt--which international fund to use?
Replies: 37
Views: 2150

Re: Adding a tilt--which international fund to use?

One possibility is to tilt to value mostly in your US allocation where doing so is cheaper. As an example, I am about 40% US and 60% international. The large majority of my US allocation is in VBR (Vanguard Small cap Value). For international, I have a lot of VSS for small and then VEA and VWO for l...
by kramer
Fri May 20, 2016 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Treasury Direct -Changing Bank Account Info
Replies: 30
Views: 3862

Re: Treasury Direct -Changing Bank Account Info

Old post, but I spoke to a treasury direct representative today and they notified me that starting tomorrow (May 21, 2016) you will not need to fill out the form 5512 (bank change form with certifying/medallion signatures) in order to change banks. You will be able to make the change directly onlin...
by kramer
Fri May 13, 2016 12:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What's your EM tilt and why?
Replies: 43
Views: 2337

Re: What's your EM tilt and why?

About 27% of my foreign stock allocation is to emerging markets. Foreign stocks make up about 60% of my holdings, so emerging markets represent about 16% of equity holdings (VWO, portion of VSS and VNQI) Why? : * I live and spend in an Emerging Market country so the EM currency/markets correlate bet...
by kramer
Sat May 07, 2016 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?
Replies: 46
Views: 3829

Re: Retirees: Who's not changing their AA, ever?

Interesting thread. Age 50, early retired 9 years ago, low withdrawal rate. I have been 63% to 65% stocks throughout. The Great Recession was a good test and I remained optimistic throughout. One change that I made after the Great Recession that doesn't show up in the numbers is that my bonds are no...
by kramer
Sun May 01, 2016 11:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit, Form 1116, Double Taxation
Replies: 16
Views: 1263

Re: Foreign Tax Credit, Form 1116, Double Taxation

kramer - Thanks for the reminder on Foreign Tax Credit that may be carried forward ten years or back one year. I also have started to use Foreign Tax Credit that could not be used in previous years. I'm not enjoying the calculations and documentation required but the benefit is definitely worth the...
by kramer
Sun May 01, 2016 6:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Change of Lifestyle in Retirement/Mobility
Replies: 9
Views: 1586

Re: Change of Lifestyle in Retirement/Mobility

BareFootGirl, I have walked a similar path. I retired at 41 in Silicon Valley. I never intended to retire there and had been planning my departure for awhile. I traveled for most of the next 5 years, or at least I lived in a lot of places temporarily in between travels, never had a lease, etc. Five ...
by kramer
Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit, Form 1116, Double Taxation
Replies: 16
Views: 1263

Re: Foreign Tax Credit, Form 1116, Double Taxation

For those of us with annual large unused foreign tax credits, some tax planning is in order. I am retired and living on dividends and a few capital gains and my foreign taxes paid on foreign stock ETFs (all based at Vanguard) well exceed the $300/$600 threshold. And my US tax liability is low. As I ...
by kramer
Thu Apr 28, 2016 2:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Semi-Retirement and Mexico/Central America
Replies: 14
Views: 1537

Re: Semi-Retirement and Mexico/Central America

If you want to do work online, you'll want to start your research with places that have reasonable internet infrastructure. Don't just assume that a place with lots of expats has fios for $29 a month. You probably don't want to drive 100 miles to get to the nearest internet cafe. Of course, it goes...
by kramer
Thu Apr 28, 2016 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Semi-Retirement and Mexico/Central America
Replies: 14
Views: 1537

Re: Semi-Retirement and Mexico/Central America

Unfortunately, in the Latin American world, most countries have "old style" pensionado visas that require a pension that most early retirees cannot satisfy with assets. Some countries are even more restrictive -- I was living part-time in Colombia a few years ago and you are only allowed 6...
by kramer
Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Damaged iPhone 5S
Replies: 13
Views: 917

Re: Damaged iPhone 5S

Not to mention that a smartphone is probably depreciating in value by 50% per year (continued use plus obsolescence), in fact, probably more.
by kramer
Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roku 3 v. Apple TV v. ???
Replies: 32
Views: 2564

Re: Roku 3 v. Apple TV v. ???

Another nice thing I have found about Roku 3 is that it can show the screen of your PC wirelessly, no HDMI cable required. At least with Windows 8.1 or later, Miracast is bundled, and the Roku accepts that signal. It's good enough to play back movies, etc. Also, if you are using headphones on your P...
by kramer
Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Goodbye College Loan!
Replies: 12
Views: 990

Re: Goodbye College Loan!

Congratulations! I am retired now, but paying off my student loans was one of the signature events of my financial life. And I can never forget that feeling nor the phone call when I made the query about the exact final balance to send in 18 years ago. It really set the foundation for my future savi...
by kramer
Sun Apr 17, 2016 7:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?
Replies: 28
Views: 5154

Re: How long does TreasuryDirect take to convert paper I bonds?

I plan to start cashing in I-bonds in about 14 years. I am afraid to convert my paper I-bonds to TD direct yet because, if I mess up during any step or if my bank account information ever changes, I might have to produce the dreaded medallion stamp which is basically impossible for me since I live a...
by kramer
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good countries to accumulate in?
Replies: 13
Views: 1257

Re: Good countries to accumulate in?

Start to think about your skill set and what you will need to achieve this goal. I didn't really want to live abroad until my late 30's and at that point I did some self analysis and decided that my skill set would need quite a bit of development to get the sort of post I wanted (I worked for a glob...
by kramer
Sat Apr 16, 2016 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good countries to accumulate in?
Replies: 13
Views: 1257

Re: Good countries to accumulate in?

I was going to suggest Hong Kong for low taxes. Although housing is outrageous, even compared to Manhattan. I have a number of friends who have been able to bank a lot of money there, even though they were working mostly in China proper. Also, if you start your own corporation, Hong Kong can be a go...
by kramer
Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My neighborhood is too quiet (and no kids)
Replies: 44
Views: 4771

Re: My neighborhood is too quiet (and no kids)

We all have our preferences, and I think the lesson here is to know what your preferences are. After growing up in quiet residential neighborhoods, it took me awhile to figure out that I really dislike that kind of neighborhood. I now would only live in a walkable and mixed-use/zoned neighborhood (b...
by kramer
Thu Apr 14, 2016 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag
Replies: 17
Views: 1225

Re: Scheduling Flight for Minimal Jet Lag

A lot of this depends on your abilities. I can't sleep on planes, so for me a departure time of early afternoon for an international flight is ideal as I want to sleep as late as possible before I have to leave for my flight. And then I am not tired on the flight itself so I can read comfortably. In...
by kramer
Tue Apr 05, 2016 11:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Safe withdrawal rate with zero growth
Replies: 38
Views: 2950

Re: Safe withdrawal rate with zero growth

His biggest risk by far is divorce - the other risks mentioned pale in comparison. Hopefully, now that he has made enough money for the rest of his and his wife's life, he will be wise to stay focused on his marriage.
by kramer
Tue Apr 05, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: travel health insurance with major health issues
Replies: 12
Views: 1091

Re: travel health insurance with major health issues

Today I talked with my Canadian friend about this who is well versed in these issues. He said the Canadian health insurance automatically covers you but only up to what Canada would pay, which is a lot less than the typical USA cost(so the problem is worst than I indicated in my first post in this t...
by kramer
Mon Apr 04, 2016 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: travel health insurance with major health issues
Replies: 12
Views: 1091

Re: travel health insurance with major health issues

I believe the OP is Canadian and looking for insurance cover in the USA. My Canadian friends are covered by their Canadian government health insurance when they travel, although I am sure it varies by province. For instance, on OHIP (Ontario) my buddy is automatically covered for up to 7 months per ...
by kramer
Thu Mar 24, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rate at different retirement ages?
Replies: 10
Views: 1725

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rate at different retirement ages?

The SWR will decrease if you retire with a greater life expectancy (e.g., if you retire younger). Another major factor for most people is that they start getting social security in their 60's which reduces the expenses that need to paid out of their savings and thus increases their SWR. Based on pas...
by kramer
Tue Mar 15, 2016 9:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physics major question
Replies: 53
Views: 4733

Re: Physics major question

I have a BA (!) in physics and an MS in mechanical engineering. It wasn't a problem getting accepted to MS programs in engineering so I doubt he needs another bachelors degree. I have found the physics degree to be very useful in my 10 year engineering career but I too found little interest from em...
by kramer
Mon Mar 14, 2016 7:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 year old, $6mm, how to retire?
Replies: 71
Views: 13825

Re: 28 year old, $6mm, how to retire?

For starters, read the free 40 page PDF book by Dr. Bill Bernstein called "If you Can" (just google for the download location). This will give you a quick overview of passive investing and the pitfalls that investors encounter. It also has reading references and homework so you can expand ...
by kramer
Mon Mar 14, 2016 4:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Life Expectancy Percentiles
Replies: 14
Views: 1448

Re: Life Expectancy Percentiles

Life expectancy at age 65 in the US has been increasing by over a year per decade (in fact, the trend actually accelerated slightly from 2000 to 2010). So is this table looking into the future and anticipating the continuation of that trend? Or is it looking at how long people are living right now? ...
by kramer
Sun Feb 28, 2016 3:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which brokers are friendly to expats?
Replies: 28
Views: 2200

Re: Which brokers are friendly to expats?

Vanguard won't let me login online from Thailand (as an American). My only option then is the phone, or bypassing their filter using a VPN. But the VPN is not something I want to rely on -- are there any other brokers who allow logging in overseas? The first time I visited Thailand, I found out tha...
by kramer
Tue Feb 23, 2016 11:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact
Replies: 59
Views: 10197

Re: Finding out about a kid 17 years after the fact

Just a note that time is of the essence if the father decides to follow through. I believe that the child is only eligible for naturalization via his US Citizen parent through his 18th birthday (not sure if one must just apply before the 18th birthday as opposed to finishing the process before the 1...
by kramer
Sun Jan 31, 2016 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Milestones between 0 and FIRE
Replies: 13
Views: 2918

Re: Milestones between 0 and FIRE

I retired early almost 9 years ago. I am single without children. For me the 2 big milestones that I still remember were 1) paying off all my school loans and 2) becoming a millionaire. Both those milestones happened much more quickly than I could have imagined. Another milestone I can recall was wh...
by kramer
Sat Jan 30, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ subscription, any deals?
Replies: 15
Views: 2095

Re: WSJ subscription, any deals?

This has been an eye opening thread for me, I gave up on the WSJ digital edition a long time ago when they raised their prices so much. But the prices presented here are so much more reasonable. The only "catch" that I noticed for the digital edition is that when you get a WSJ digital subs...
by kramer
Sat Jan 16, 2016 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Expats open which Schwab account? domicile/will issues
Replies: 3
Views: 384

Re: Expats open which Schwab account? domicile/will issues

I don't have the answers to many of your questions although I will be following this thread with interest. But one detail is that when opening a regular US Schwab brokerage account, besides a phone number and address, they require a US state driver's license number (or State ID number). At least thi...
by kramer
Sat Jan 09, 2016 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google results bring up other people with your name - job search implications?
Replies: 23
Views: 1818

Re: Google results bring up other people with your name - job search implications?

I agree it is a good idea to do a bit of googling on yourself. My name is not common and until the early 2000's, I completely dominated the listings for my name (I was a public face in the computer industry). About 5 years later, as the internet surged in importance, I was just one of many with my n...
by kramer
Fri Jan 08, 2016 12:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to Retire to North Coast of San Diego in 15-20 years
Replies: 14
Views: 2404

Re: Want to Retire to North Coast of San Diego in 15-20 years

I grew up in the area and it has completely changed in the last 20 years and probably will change a lot in the next 20. And yes, my family used to grow flowers there :D I definitely would not buy there at this stage of your life, it just doesn't make sense, financial or otherwise, as there are just ...
by kramer
Fri Jan 01, 2016 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any other Nuts have Bridgeway Mkt (BRSIX) in Taxable?
Replies: 3
Views: 490

Re: Any other Nuts have Bridgeway Mkt (BRSIX) in Taxable?

You can find a discussion along this line about BRSIX and its distributions here:

viewtopic.php?t=107161

I recently updated the thread with this year's BRSIX distribution information.
by kramer
Mon Dec 21, 2015 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years
Replies: 22
Views: 1437

Re: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years

For reference, here is the tax statement from the latest VWO annual report: Special 2014 tax information (unaudited) for Vanguard Emerging Markets Stock Index Fund This information for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2014, is included pursuant to provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. The fund ...
by kramer
Mon Dec 14, 2015 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years
Replies: 22
Views: 1437

Re: Foreign Tax Credit - how use it before expiry in eight years

For the tax year prior to when you incurred the foreign tax, you can carry back the foreign tax credit to that year, at least as much of it as you can use. That should help a little. You do this by filing a form 1040X and modified foreign tax credit form 1116 for that tax year. The rules are you can...
by kramer
Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home network Guru's for 30 devices on router.
Replies: 57
Views: 4251

Re: Home network Guru's for 30 devices on router.

The only option is to add more "lanes". The expensive option is to add more access points and load-balancing software. A cheaper option would be to get a dual band (5GHz and 2.4GHz) router and manually split the devices between the two bands. Some home routers also have the option to do a...
by kramer
Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ATM use in Europe
Replies: 31
Views: 1998

Re: ATM use in Europe

If you are going on a trip, the most important thing is to have at least 2 ATM/debit cards. In case one is damaged, stolen, eaten by a machine, lost, expires during your trip, is temporarily turned off for suspicion of fraud during your trip, that bank network becomes temporarily unavailable during ...
by kramer
Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Things to do near or in retirement while in the 15% bracket.
Replies: 17
Views: 2532

Re: Things to do near or in retirement while in the 15% bracket.

The only other idea is to look in QLACs to defer RMDs, although I am not well educated on them yet. Yes, I will be in the 15% bracket during most of my 50's and 60's as I slowly convert a Traditional IRA to ROTH IRA and take 0% Cap gains when appropriate. However, my understanding is that I can buy...
by kramer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: like to live in tropical weather
Replies: 26
Views: 3388

Re: like to live in tropical weather

e: like to live in tropical weather Postby kramer » Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:32 pm kramer im very interested in phlipine living -could you tell me or share your exprensce --where do you live -the place -how about medical issure and long term visa as expare thank you looking Sure, I will send you a PM wi...
by kramer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical invoice for services 10 months ago
Replies: 21
Views: 2173

Re: Medical invoice for services 10 months ago

So if the OP or others are taking a medical deduction on their taxes for the expenses of a major medical event, does the expense occur when the service is rendered or when you are billed for it or when you paid for it? This is relevant because there is a high threshold for deductibility (like 10% AG...
by kramer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best value for online math classes (for credit)?
Replies: 9
Views: 726

Re: Best value for online math classes (for credit)?

It's funny where computer programming would require great math skills. Ever looked at the GMAT math review ? That and a good QT compiler...a good program flowchart...what couldn't be started ? Or finished by IBM or MSFT or just run the darn computer. :D But, anyway, with the GMAT math stuff what co...
by kramer
Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BRSIX - 20% distribution
Replies: 21
Views: 3851

Re: BRSIX - 20% distribution

I hate to keep resurrecting this thread but BRSIX has another big capital gains distribution in 2015 coming, all long term capital gains. From: http://bridgeway_web.s3.amazonaws.com/cms/documents/13e714fe99520840/2015.11.05_Distribution_Estimates_for_Website.pdf They are predicting a $1.54655 long t...
by kramer
Mon Nov 09, 2015 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: like to live in tropical weather
Replies: 26
Views: 3388

Re: like to live in tropical weather

I had the same desire, wanting to live somewhere where it *never* gets below 60 degrees day or night, and preferably usually doesn't even get close to that. And also a place where the air was not dry. Climate was just one factor that I weighed among several in retirement. I was not looking to live o...
by kramer
Sun Nov 01, 2015 1:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Shifting international towards small + emerging
Replies: 59
Views: 3958

Re: Shifting international towards small + emerging

OP, instead of doing what you proposed, think about tilting your US portfolio heavily to small cap value and own much less US large cap. Increase your percentage of foreign in your overall portfolio and put all the new money in small foreign and EM. By selling off most of the US large cap, you have ...
by kramer
Sun Nov 01, 2015 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low-cost and low-maintenance hobbies?
Replies: 69
Views: 7494

Re: Low-cost and low-maintenance hobbies?

I would focus less on finding a low cost hobby and more on 1) Finding one you really enjoy that 2) is not overly expensive. In other words, for something so important to your life, I wouldn't avoid moderate or middle cost hobbies. Also, there is a personality issue. At one time I did some skiing and...
by kramer
Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Resources for teaching football to kids (books, classes, equip., etc.)
Replies: 11
Views: 665

Re: Resources for teaching football to kids (books, classes, equip., etc.)

John T. Reed wrote excellent real estate books (which is how I know about him) but he wrote several on coaching youth football. I have not read them myself:

http://johntreed.com/collections/footba ... hing-books

His books are on Amazon, also.
by kramer
Wed Oct 21, 2015 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your 2 retirement numbers?
Replies: 260
Views: 27111

Re: What are your 2 retirement numbers?

Why spend 40 years working at a job you hate to accumulate enough money to quit. Wouldn't it make more sense to spend those 40 years at something that gives you a feeling or purpose and accomplishment? I saw an old black-and-white documentary once where a teen-ager asked his dad why he worked at so...
by kramer
Sat Oct 03, 2015 11:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance for parents coming to US
Replies: 14
Views: 1319

Re: Travel Insurance for parents coming to US

Back when I was living in Colombia, I can remember there was an incident where a British young adult was injured and paralyzed. He had been stuck in Colombia for months after he was stabilized because his family could not afford to fly him back to Britain. I don't think he had any travel insurance. ...
by kramer
Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel Insurance for parents coming to US
Replies: 14
Views: 1319

Re: Travel Insurance for parents coming to US

Nomads is great, especially if you can find a coupon. But they have age restrictions, eg 69 maximum for Australians and New Zealanders, 65 for Germans and Japanese, 59 for Canadians, 64 for UK. The policy maximums for visitorscoverage were absurdly low, topping out at $100,000, or a couple of kidne...
by kramer
Fri Oct 02, 2015 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should my husband become a US citizen?
Replies: 102
Views: 7864

Re: Should my husband become a US citizen?

Immigration/Customs people, of any country, scare me. Yes, never ever make the mistake of thinking that these people are your friends or that they are talking or joking with you for any reason other than to acquire information. Whether they are from your home country or a country you are visiting. ...

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