Search found 1547 matches

by kramer
Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 53
Views: 2076

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

Where can I get this guaranteed real 3% to 4% return mentioned by the OP? Sign me up! In the meantime, I will have to pay a *huge* premium on TIPs to even get 2% real ... point being that Social Security is effectively a guaranteed return and you need to use the real rates that you would receive for...
by kramer
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling
Replies: 19
Views: 1232

Re: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling

I was recently in China. Never used cash for anything. Everyone else was using various forms of paying with a cell phone, so they didn't use cash either. You know, like Apple Pay and the home-grown equivalents. So do SEA countries use cell phones for payments? In China they are mainly using WeChat ...
by kramer
Sat Nov 18, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling
Replies: 19
Views: 1232

Re: Southeast Asia trip - Cash handling

At a minimum, take 2 debit cards for ATM use (preferably different banks) and a no-fee credit card. Do quick searches online for ATM basics before entering a country .... in other words, know what the max ATM withdrawal is in that country, if some of the ATMs don't accept international cards, know t...
by kramer
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BRSIX - 20% distribution
Replies: 23
Views: 4661

Re: BRSIX - 20% distribution

2017 BRSIX update:

$2.02 estimated LTCG distribution, current price is $15.53

13% distribution (estimated)
by kramer
Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 394
Views: 64869

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

OK, that makes more sense. So if bonds are ballooning as a percentage of portfolio (typically due to multiple stock harvests), I still have roughly the same real amount in stocks as at the start of retirement. I guess in the 1984 retirement situation that you described, after say 13 years of retirem...
by kramer
Tue Nov 14, 2017 5:55 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 394
Views: 64869

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

Thanks, AlohaJoe, I really enjoy your posts. And I have read most of your blog posts on this topic. I guess my worry is that when using this system with a low withdrawal rate my portfolio could become too bond-heavy although that would take awhile. I still (hopefully) have a 40 year horizon (age 52)...
by kramer
Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: places to live near Stanford University
Replies: 35
Views: 2701

Re: places to live near Stanford University

Palo Alto has basically refused to build multi-family housing for decades and had the nation's highest rents recently. All the surrounding cities have been gentrified with the tech boom. San Francisco would be a very long daily commute... there is a Cal Train stop near Stanford Campus but just getti...
by kramer
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 394
Views: 64869

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

Recommendation: I purchased the paperback version of this book and I thought it was well worth the money. McClung really does "follow the data" wherever it takes him and I learned a lot from this book. Asset Allocation: I am considering adopting the book's recommendations except that I would mostly...
by kramer
Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:51 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Vanguard sending so much junk mail telling me to vote in the proxy election?
Replies: 39
Views: 3929

Re: Why is Vanguard sending so much junk mail telling me to vote in the proxy election?

Thanks to the comments for those who had voted ... when I logged in I voted, it was simple, just took about one minute total.
by kramer
Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!
Replies: 75
Views: 17696

Re: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!

Thanks for the warnings. FYI, I had to click around the WSJ.com site to get an actual price. Right now, I could get all-digital for 6 months for $111 or all-digital for 12 months for $222. After that time period, you are automatically enrolled at the price of $111 plus tax per quarter. While I find...
by kramer
Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!
Replies: 75
Views: 17696

Re: WSJ Digital Subscription - a bargain!

Thanks for the warnings. FYI, I had to click around the WSJ.com site to get an actual price. Right now, I could get all-digital for 6 months for $111 or all-digital for 12 months for $222. After that time period, you are automatically enrolled at the price of $111 plus tax per quarter. While I find ...
by kramer
Wed Oct 18, 2017 9:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Multi-currency accounts for US citizen
Replies: 37
Views: 1707

Re: Multi-currency accounts for US citizen

Maybe an even simpler option would be to have him sign up for a credit card with no foreign transaction fees. That way he can travel to as many countries as he wants, and never have to worry about different currencies and transaction fees. Also, this gives him most value for his dollars and helps b...
by kramer
Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 465
Views: 39825

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads

I am one of the many with an HSA at TD Ameritrade (and HSA Bank which uses TD Ameritrade as the brokerage). I can't add money to my HSA anymore, so it is just in maintenance mode for at least 10 more years. I do about one trade per year, reinvesting the dividends thrown off from my existing Vanguard...
by kramer
Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 2 factor authentication - What if something happens to you?
Replies: 50
Views: 4283

Re: 2 factor authentication - What if something happens to you?

Regarding two factor authentication, I won't set up anything related to texting due to international travel. I have had multiple friends locked out of their email accounts for this reason (Yahoo, if I recall) ... when they logged into their email in another country, the email demanded secondary auth...
by kramer
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ecuador safe to travel and hike?
Replies: 21
Views: 2253

Re: Ecuador safe to travel and hike?

I spent a couple of weeks in Ecuador attending Spanish school (mostly Quito) in 2005. Quito was definitely NOT safe at night. Many of the other students were targeted for theft, even during the daytime. There were some violent incidents in the evening against folks who had been there over a series o...
by kramer
Sun Oct 01, 2017 1:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: International driver license
Replies: 4
Views: 729

Re: International driver license

Just to be clear, it is an International Driving Permit (IDP) ... there is no such thing as an International Driving License. Many countries have signed a treaty or two that makes the IDP system work. In the US, AAA is probably the best place, it is about 15 or 20 dollars now, can all be done while ...
by kramer
Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Alternative to Google Finance? [Portfolios feature deprecated]
Replies: 52
Views: 10626

Re: Alternative to Google Finance? [Portfolios feature deprecated]

The Google Finannce app on Android also seems to be completely deprecated, it stopped updating daily stock prices a few weeks ago and so I recently uninstalled it.
by kramer
Tue Sep 26, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying 14 Plane Tickets - Sac to Cabo San Lucas
Replies: 14
Views: 1947

Re: Buying 14 Plane Tickets - Sac to Cabo San Lucas

If you live within driving distance of San Diego, you can now get to Tijuana airport by a dedicated pedestrian international pathway from the US side. And when you come back you walk right back to the US side. Flights are probably much cheaper from there.
by kramer
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Age you retired
Replies: 112
Views: 8686

Re: Age you retired

I retired at age 41.

My professional career was 11.75 years long. I have been retired just over 10 years now and am quite happy, and I got to travel around the world over the last decade. No paid employment since retirement.
by kramer
Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?
Replies: 80
Views: 4546

Re: Do you subscribe to digital newspapers?

I read online only and much prefer that medium. Because of the transition to digital, I read more news not less news. I could never go back to reading stale news on inky paper that I only get once a day and only when I am not traveling. I subscribe to the New York Times, read lots of free stuff, and...
by kramer
Fri Aug 18, 2017 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: DUI lawyer - need advice
Replies: 85
Views: 7644

Re: DUI lawyer - need advice

I don't know what or who a "dc" is?

With a DUI conviction, you will lose your right to visit Canada for 7 years, if that matters to you. They can check your record online at Canadian immigration.
by kramer
Sun Aug 13, 2017 12:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MiFi for International Travel
Replies: 10
Views: 1116

Re: MiFi for International Travel

I personally just have an old iPhone and toss any sim into that, start up hotspot and bam, done. It has to be an iPhone 5 or newer Verizon model. yes, most of the modern phones can become a hotspot. Both Android and iOS. I no longer see a reason to bother with MiFi when traveling. Also, when I am u...
by kramer
Sat Aug 12, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?
Replies: 37
Views: 3941

Re: Cheapest way to upgrade iPhones ?

The Samsung Galaxy S8, released only about 3 or 4 months ago, is on sale nationally now for $575 due to the impending release of the Samsung Note 8. That is a great value for a state of the art and well reviewed flagship phone. In fact, I think it might foreshadow a trend of lower prices in the futu...
by kramer
Tue Jul 18, 2017 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tumbling USD -- expats
Replies: 27
Views: 2735

Re: Tumbling USD -- expats

I live abroad in the Philippines. The Philippines peso seems to be somewhat more tied to the dollar than the baht and the US is third leading trade partner. The problem with holding money in your local emerging market country is that as a US citizen you can't invest it in much besides bonds due to P...
by kramer
Sat Jul 15, 2017 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop CD ROM Tray Keeps Ejecting
Replies: 4
Views: 456

Re: Laptop CD ROM Tray Keeps Ejecting

badger42 wrote: Otherwise, it's 2017. I didn't realize laptops still came with optical drives. Consider disabling it and pretending it doesn't exist?
Unfortunately for the OP, this is the truth. It's just complete dead weight and unnecessary size increase on a laptop.
by kramer
Mon Jul 10, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any way to eat healthier at Subway (or any other quick lunch ideas)
Replies: 102
Views: 5733

Re: any way to eat healthier at Subway (or any other quick lunch ideas)

Anytime that I eat out, I NEVER finish the food. If I order a burger, I rip off half of the bread (with the mayo part as that has more calories) and a bit of the meat and cheese and put it to the side. I don't doggybag it either. Yes it is a waste of food, but helps me maintain my weight. If I didn...
by kramer
Sun Jul 09, 2017 8:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone use ANNUITIES for SOME of their retirement funds?
Replies: 61
Views: 4553

Re: Does anyone use ANNUITIES for SOME of their retirement funds?

I am 51 and retired and much too young to consider annuities. I am doing TradIRA to RothIRA conversions each year. But my TradIRA will still have funds when I reach age 70. However, around the age of 70, I have considered getting a deferred annuity (QLAC) with up to 25% of my remaining IRA funds...m...
by kramer
Tue Jul 04, 2017 11:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Playstation 4 Games for Beginners?
Replies: 28
Views: 3533

Re: Best Playstation 4 Games for Beginners?

This thread has been so helpful ... thanks very much! I have been busy researching all these games, some great recommendations. I am thinking of starting with a game in each of several genres to see what I enjoy and gain some skills, combined with PS+ to get exposed to more games.
by kramer
Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Playstation 4 Games for Beginners?
Replies: 28
Views: 3533

Re: Best Playstation 4 Games for Beginners?

If you get PlayStation plus, be sure to download the free monthly games, even if you are not sure you want it. You can always delete the game and redownload later. The way I understand it, PlayStation Plus ($60/year) offers some free games for download each month, so I could download them for that ...
by kramer
Mon Jul 03, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Playstation 4 Games for Beginners?
Replies: 28
Views: 3533

Re: Best Playstation 4 Games for Beginners?

Reviving a year old thread ... I am about to purchase a Playstation 4 Pro and wondering what games I should order with it ... I am new to the gaming world ... I guess there have been a lot of new titles released in the past year. Thanks in advance and I found what is already in this thread quite use...
by kramer
Wed Jun 28, 2017 12:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Taxes on I Series Bonds negate purchasing power protection?
Replies: 12
Views: 1860

Re: Taxes on I Series Bonds negate purchasing power protection?

You can also cash them in over a series of years to lower your tax bracket if your income is suited for that ... for example, I have 3.4% and 3.0% Ibonds maturing in 2031 ... but I will cash some in in December, 2029, some in December 2030, and the rest in 2031 when they mature ... this will probabl...
by kramer
Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% of portfolio balance a better SWR than 3-4% inflation-adjusted?
Replies: 27
Views: 3429

Re: 5% of portfolio balance a better SWR than 3-4% inflation-adjusted?

My "real life" income needs and wants seem to be pretty steady in retirement. A widely variable withdrawal rate doesn't seem to match my lifestyle.
by kramer
Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good school in Mexico for Spanish?
Replies: 23
Views: 2088

Re: Good school in Mexico for Spanish?

Several years ago, I was (at my advanced age) considering learning some Spanish - and I noticed some language immersion programs advertised or promoted in a certain Central American country. In this area, there are a lot of immigrants from many different countries. (With 20/20 hindsight) I made the...
by kramer
Sat Jun 10, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good school in Mexico for Spanish?
Replies: 23
Views: 2088

Re: Good school in Mexico for Spanish?

I attended the Baden-Powell school in Morelia twice, once in 2006 (2 weeks) and again in 2011 (3 weeks). The school was fantastic with comfortable condo nearby or you can stay with a family (I have done both). http://www.baden-powell.com/home Of course, a lot of time has passed, you would have to do...
by kramer
Mon May 29, 2017 11:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone service abroad
Replies: 79
Views: 7553

Re: Cell phone service abroad

I always buy a sim card abroad when I visit a country, with a generous data plan. I familiarize myself with their system before I leave so I already know what I will be buying before my trip.

Here is a good pre-paid Wiki link for New Zealand:

http://prepaid-data-sim-card.wikia.com/wiki/New_Zealand
by kramer
Sun May 21, 2017 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What % of your income have you converted to wealth?
Replies: 133
Views: 18237

Re: How many Bogleheads have investment assets that exceed their cumulative lifetime earned income?

It's true for me ... easy to calculate because my main work career was short (< 12 years, finished school at age 29) and I retired at age 41. I think I was over the "net after taxes" lifetime amount when I retired but now, 10 years after retirement with some inflation and portfolio growth, I am abov...
by kramer
Sat May 20, 2017 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 51
Views: 23824

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

I had to get progressives for the first time last year. With the same prescription, I got a pair shipped from Zenni (maybe $70 all in) and a pair from Costco (maybe $185 including lens and frame). I really can't even wear the pair from Zenni, I don't think they even qualify as a backup pair. The Co...
by kramer
Fri May 19, 2017 11:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?
Replies: 51
Views: 23824

Re: Opticians: is there any difference in quality of Costco glasses?

I had to get progressives for the first time last year. With the same prescription, I got a pair shipped from Zenni (maybe $70 all in) and a pair from Costco (maybe $185 including lens and frame). I really can't even wear the pair from Zenni, I don't think they even qualify as a backup pair. The Cos...
by kramer
Tue May 16, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use of Drivers License for air travel
Replies: 20
Views: 2162

Re: Use of Drivers License for air travel

Also, for convenience, when you renew your passport you may want to also get a passport card (30 bucks extra last I checked). That way you can use the card (same size as a driver's license) for ID in the USA as opposed to having to lug your passport around. The passport card has the additional use o...
by kramer
Tue May 16, 2017 12:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?
Replies: 84
Views: 8305

Re: Anyone else agree with my logic on silicon valley housing?

I was in a similar situation about 13 years ago, albeit a bit older than you at the time. I am OK with living in an apartment in a walkable neighborhood. But I was never a big Bay Area fan. I just sucked it up and saved big dollars and retired early. I got an apartment in an area I enjoyed and alway...
by kramer
Tue May 09, 2017 11:04 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International REIT
Replies: 37
Views: 4179

Re: International REIT

It looks like all the top country holdings of VNQI have adopted a US-style REIT approach except for China. And China is considering it. Is there a reason you prefer the U.S. style REIT approach? Good question. US style REITs are real estate holding companies and have to distribute 90% of their prof...
by kramer
Mon May 08, 2017 11:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International REIT
Replies: 37
Views: 4179

Re: International REIT

While I like VNQI and own some of it, one thing that worried me about it in the past was that some of the countries had not legislated a distinct REIT structure like the US. In the US, one of the main differentiations of REIT stocks is that they have distinct tax treatment and regulations, they are ...
by kramer
Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Will cars be autonomous in three years?
Replies: 225
Views: 14971

Re: Will cars be autonomous in three years?

Uber (and its competition) will become a lot more convenient with driverless tech: * shorter wait time, broader geographic coverage, 24 hours service, much broader customer base and a *lot* cheaper: * fewer real drivers, much higher vehicle utilization, more ride sharing options, much broader custom...
by kramer
Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone For Japan?
Replies: 16
Views: 1302

Re: Phone For Japan?

My understanding is that if you want to get a Japanese sim card, you have to be a resident to get a sim card that can talk and text. Tourists are allowed data only. There is some kind of registration process for a Japanese sim card that can talk and text. Here is a good place to start your research:...
by kramer
Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe says "Goodbye."
Replies: 336
Views: 43219

Re: Larry Swedroe says "Goodby."

Thanks for all your contributions, Larry ... they are deeply appreciated ... and your depth of knowledge and willingness to share is a good example for all of us.
by kramer
Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:24 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I got a FACTA-related form from my home country?
Replies: 24
Views: 1452

Re: I got a FACTA-related form from my home country?

To directly answer the OP's question, many and probably most banks abroad now automatically require that you state whether you are a US Person and/or US Citizen as a matter of doing business with them. This is usually even for opening a small account since that account could later grow above the thr...
by kramer
Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:19 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: STRIPS ladder to buy my retirement home?
Replies: 13
Views: 1596

Re: STRIPS ladder to buy my retirement home?

You probably know this already but just in case ... don't forget to include Texas property taxes ... from what I have read they may be as much as $800/month (?) on a purchase of that size.
by kramer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Malpractice tail
Replies: 8
Views: 1583

Re: Malpractice tail

I am sure it is heavily dependent on your specialty.

My brother-in-law was an ENT surgeon/doc in Southern California for a group and moved to the Midwest around 2005 (I think). He paid 76K for the malpractice tail. And he had a good record.
by kramer
Sun Apr 09, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More Zenni Optical Questions
Replies: 13
Views: 1967

Re: More Zenni Optical Questions

I got progressive lenses for regular glasses on Zenni and they were not done very well. At almost the same time, I got a pair at Costco that were done much better. My lesson is that I would only do a simple prescription through Zenni. I have gotten single prescription glasses for myopia on Zenni and...