Search found 395 matches

by rj49
Sun May 06, 2018 1:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.
Replies: 238
Views: 30221

Re: MoviePass-Too good to be true, but it's legit.

My son has a MoviePass and loves it. It's also an easy decision for the theaters. It's like a casino comping a room. It's already built, so any further use is pure profit. And they make the real money on the concessions. That is no joke. we went to the movies Friday for the first time in years - I ...
by rj49
Sun May 06, 2018 12:55 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement at 43-45 (Military)
Replies: 17
Views: 2771

Re: Retirement at 43-45 (Military)

I was interested in starting TSP/IRA for both of us but we cant touch the growth before 59.5 without penalties from my understanding. Ideal scenario would be to invest in taxable investments, then start with drawing once she retires (2036). This would mean we are both 43 which is under the 59.5 thr...
by rj49
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 days in London - must dos?
Replies: 31
Views: 1871

Re: 3 days in London - must dos?

You can check out the London Pass, which I find spurs me to see as many sights as possible to get the full value out of it. It includes hop-on bus and Thames river tours, as well as the Tower of London and even the expensive trip to the top of the Shard. Also look into getting an Oystercard, where y...
by rj49
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you buy this? (Phone Question)
Replies: 18
Views: 1170

Re: Would you buy this? (Phone Question)

I'd go into a store and try out the 8 and 8 plus, because my dad and sister and I have both tried the smaller phone and realized we like the larger screen of the plus. If you find that's true, or if you want to upgrade your other phone to keep with ios, you could check out swappa.com, which is an eb...
by rj49
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cruise or other vaca ideas for Dad w/13yr old twin boys?
Replies: 36
Views: 2382

Re: Cruise or other vaca ideas for Dad w/13yr old twin boys?

You might check out the Carnival 4-day cruises that leave out of Long Beach, CA, and go to Catalina Island (zip lining, biking, ropes course) and Ensenada (shopping and sightseeing). It has a water slide and putt-putt golf and deck parties, and I didn't feel like I was on a frat party or Spring brea...
by rj49
Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Treasury Bills vs. I-bonds vs. Intermediate-term tax-exempt muni bonds
Replies: 24
Views: 3464

Re: Treasury Bills vs. I-bonds vs. Intermediate-term tax-exempt muni bonds

If you're reallocating bonds based on short-term interest rate changes, then you might not have the patience to stay invested in ibonds. I had them for many years, but then when there's no inflation, you're not getting paid much in the way of an inflation adjustment. They're also a pain to deal with...
by rj49
Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Apartment REITS a better diversifier than VG REIT Index?
Replies: 34
Views: 3689

Re: Are Apartment REITS a better diversifier than VG REIT Index?

You might look at Fundrise, a crowdsourcing site that invests primarily in residential housing around the US, with primary emphasis in the LA and DC areas. It's structured as something called an ereit, with a price that they try to keep stable, so it doesn't have the ups and downs of a traded REIT, ...
by rj49
Tue Mar 13, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why International again?
Replies: 224
Views: 19867

Re: Why International again?

To me, using past data to predict future international returns isn't wise, since the international indices were dominated completely by the Japan bubble and it's fall, which dragged down international returns until 2000 or so. It also ignores the strength of emerging market economies--you rarely saw...
by rj49
Tue Mar 13, 2018 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "An Ideal Retirement Spending Strategy?" (from Oblivious Investor)
Replies: 31
Views: 5109

Re: "An Ideal Retirement Spending Strategy?" (from Oblivious Investor)

The RMD method seems, like the 4% rule, unrealistic and doesn't fit spending patterns throughout life. Most retirees spend more earlier in retirement, for travel, bucket list things, expensive hobbies, home projects, a second home, finishing off a mortgage, buying toys (sports cars, etc). So lower s...
by rj49
Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe’s New Book Available: Reducing Risk Of Black Swans
Replies: 130
Views: 13417

Re: Larry Swedroe’s New Book Available: Reducing Risk Of Black Swans

--I think Larry's best belief is investing with the ability, willingness, and need to take risk. --Experts change their investment portfolios over time, depending on market changes--did anybody here invest in REITS, value funds, TIPS, ibonds, and emerging markets prior to 2000? It was only after the...
by rj49
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional vs Roth TSP & Retire Early?
Replies: 16
Views: 1428

Re: Traditional vs Roth TSP & Retire Early?

If you're going to retire early, you might want to add the G fund to your allocation at some point. Unlike regular bond funds, it will rise with inflation and interest rates, so it's the safest fixed income possible, especially for an early retiree needing income--if we had a 2001 or 2007 type of ma...
by rj49
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC Guy. Inherited a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro ($500 value). Talk me into/out of keeping it.
Replies: 37
Views: 2717

Re: PC Guy. Inherited a Mid-2012 MacBook Pro ($500 value). Talk me into/out of keeping it.

I'd sell it and get a Chromebook with an HD screen. I also have an ipad and iphone and iMac, but Macbooks are too heavy to take around and too expensive to compensate for the risks of damage or theft. The only reason to have one would be if you need to do serious work on the road or in a coffee shop...
by rj49
Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch
Replies: 82
Views: 8168

Re: Thinking of getting an Apple Watch

The best part is that it easily and effectively motivates you to move and do exercise, automatically giving you weekly goals, as well as getting 30 minutes a day of exercise. There's no boring step count, as on other fitness trackers, and it's easy to do a specific workout. It gives nudges to comple...
by rj49
Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Draw Down Plan - Stanford Longevity Report
Replies: 11
Views: 869

Stanford papers on retirement withdrawal strategies

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek] I saw this article in Marketwatch, describing a Stanford study on optimal retirement withdrawals. The short answer is to use savings to delay SS until age 70, and then use RMDs for discretionary spending. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/heres...
by rj49
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking into Hands Off Commercial Real Estate
Replies: 14
Views: 1521

Re: Looking into Hands Off Commercial Real Estate

One option for hands-off investing is Fundrise, which I invest in since I want real estate income with minimal hassles. It invests in apartment complexes and new housing construction, with a focus in steady-growth areas like the DC and LA areas, but with diversification across the US. What I like ab...
by rj49
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military FIRE; 7 years to go & losing motivation--HELP!
Replies: 36
Views: 3502

Re: Military FIRE; 7 years to go & losing motivation--HELP!

One thing you can do to assume you'll both be at E-9 by retirement age, and then calculate the amount of pension you'd accrue for the rest of a normal lifetime. You can look up how much a healthcare plan equal to Tricare on the healthcare.gov site and project that out for a lifetime as well. Then pr...
by rj49
Tue Feb 20, 2018 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alaska Cruise Suggestions
Replies: 23
Views: 1824

Re: Alaska Cruise Suggestions

I can suggest an alternate cruise option--taking the Alaska marine ferry, which leaves from Bellingham WA and goes up the coast to various cities, including smaller ports that can't handle cruise ships. You can rent cabins, bring your own food or buy on board, get on and off, and you're not dealing ...
by rj49
Tue Feb 20, 2018 7:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Seeking Cruise Suggestions
Replies: 36
Views: 2408

Re: Seeking Cruise Suggestions

Instead of looking for some niche cruise company, you might try an itinerary that's rich in history and art and culture, specifically a Baltic cruise. I did one on Norwegian last June that went from Copenhagen to Germany (long daytrip to Berlin or more interesting churches and history of nearby Rost...
by rj49
Sun Feb 18, 2018 12:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method
Replies: 168
Views: 17880

Re: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method

Here's a timely post on the failings of a 4% rule, by a retired AOL exec named Dirk Cotton. Like Bill Bernstein, he replaced a lucrative first career with investment research and writing, and I've found his blog posts interesting and well-informed. Unlike other retirement withdrawal writers (Pfau, K...
by rj49
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method
Replies: 168
Views: 17880

Re: Retirees: The common sense withdrawal method

It all depends on your safety net (pensions, paid-off house, health care), your self-control and spending style (spendthrift with a gambling instinct would benefit from rules that limit spending, whereas a frugal person might need to encourage spending to get over the reluctance to touch principal o...
by rj49
Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesley Income performance
Replies: 16
Views: 2426

Re: Wellesley Income performance

Wellesley is the epitome of the danger of buying a fund based on past performance, since it's been in 65% long-duration bonds during a 30-year bull market for bonds, and for much of its history their dividend-heavy stocks have paid out well and active management has given them the chance to buy and ...
by rj49
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 4% rule and early retirement?
Replies: 69
Views: 9088

Re: 4% rule and early retirement?

As someone who retired at 43 and have had 13 years of ER, I'd advise starting out low and living simply and then raising spending over time. When I first retired I even tracked every expense, to make sure I was spending at a sustainable pace, and I've always kept a large percentage of fixed income t...
by rj49
Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TSP - How to get better international coverage
Replies: 12
Views: 1180

Re: TSP - How to get better international coverage

Actually if you google interviews and articles with people like Jeremy Grantham and Rob Arnott, they recommend overweighting EM, simply because its valuation hasn't grown as much as US and other international stocks. Following that advice would have gained you 35% over a year, versus 25% for TSM and...
by rj49
Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rewards Debit Card for Est Qrtly Taxes?
Replies: 13
Views: 543

Re: Rewards Debit Card for Est Qrtly Taxes?

Discover Bank gives 1% back for debit card purchases on up to $3000 a month. Its online savings is paying 1.40% now, so you could store the payments there and then transfer them to checking when it's time for the payment.
by rj49
Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Market Drop - A Perspective (2.6.18)
Replies: 12
Views: 2654

Re: Market Drop - A Perspective (2.6.18)

The problem is loss aversion--people hate to lose money, which makes a good reality check for those posting recently about their wisdom and fortitude at being 100% in equities (and especially for those planning to get rich on bitcoin and have seen their 'investment' fall by 60% since late December)....
by rj49
Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheap cell phone plans
Replies: 60
Views: 5270

Re: Cheap cell phone plans

If it's an emergency phone, the cheapest option is T-Mobile's pay as you go plan, for $3 a month, with 10 cents a minute/text over 30 a month. The other benefit is you can buy a T-Mobile refill card at a store and load the value and just forget about it for another year. The SIM card kit is just the...
by rj49
Sun Jan 28, 2018 1:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The biggest problem in retirement is spending (not)
Replies: 118
Views: 10860

Re: The biggest problem in retirement is spending (not)

The problem with the RMD method is that it results in less spending in early years of retirement, when people want to spend more, and much higher spending later, when people want to spend less. I keep a copy of Stephen Pollan's "Die Broke", which provides inspiration to spend while you're alive (alo...
by rj49
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Kitces article: A cash bucket in retirement? Nope
Replies: 150
Views: 12388

p;[[[[[[[

People treat bonds like cash until the NAV starts declining, especially if selling is needed for living expenses. I remember starting a ST bond fund in the 1980s, thinking it would be like a checking account, but then it started losing value, and it hurt. The same goes for those who think of Wellesl...
by rj49
Mon Dec 25, 2017 3:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: International Investing without knowing governance/accounting details
Replies: 8
Views: 744

Re: International Investing without knowing governance/accounting details

Mr. Bogle used to used lax accounting standards and loose rule of law as reasons not to invest internationally, but after Enron, the financial crisis, and bank bailouts, it's difficult to idealize US financial accountability. While bribery and corruption are probably practiced around the world to so...
by rj49
Tue Nov 21, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Uber for someone who knows only taxis
Replies: 93
Views: 6551

Re: Uber for someone who knows only taxis

I drive for Uber and Lyft to stay engaged, to have some of the satisfactions of work without the drawbacks, even though I'm retired and have no debts. I use my earnings for travel and to contribute to a Roth IRA, and it pays for the lease on my Corolla as well and gives me an excuse to lease new car...
by rj49
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cabo San Lucas - question
Replies: 34
Views: 4289

Re: Cabo San Lucas - question

The marina has a walk around it, away from cars and with plenty of tourists to feel safe. There's a dolphin swimming place as well that would make a good memory for kids--if you go to their website before you visit they usually have big discounts. The marina also has a big mall with a coffee shop, f...
by rj49
Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric Car (Nissan Leaf) for a teen driver?
Replies: 43
Views: 3610

Re: Electric Car (Nissan Leaf) for a teen driver?

I would be concerned about a teen forgetting to charge a car sufficiently and ending up with an empty battery and stranded somewhere. My teen nieces neglect to charge their phones diligently and are always on empty at inopportune times, and I remember as a teen I had to be rescued on occasion when I...
by rj49
Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy new iPhone?
Replies: 19
Views: 2216

Re: Where to buy new iPhone?

You can look at swappa.com, which is sort of like ebay in using paypal and guarantees, but is quite rigorous about requiring detailed photos and descriptions of phones. If you're not absolutely tied to the 8, you can get previous models in mint or even new condition for much less (and avoid sales ta...
by rj49
Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Global Wellesley Income and Global Wellington Funds in registration [now available]
Replies: 129
Views: 34165

Re: Vanguard's Global Wellesley Income and Global Wellington Funds in registration [now available]

--For those looking for income, the new funds might lower the already-low current yields, since the international corporate bond index currently yields 1.62%, versus 3.13% for the US investment grade bond index. Both current funds capture some of the biggest foreign yielding stocks, and both have so...
by rj49
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:58 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Brick Chimney Issues
Replies: 25
Views: 2003

Re: Brick Chimney Issues

During a home insulation project, I had the contractors remove my fireplace. Like you, I never used it and it let in cold air, so they just knocked everything out, took out the metal chimney, and covered everything up with new wall, ceiling, and carpet, giving me more room, quiet, and warmth.
by rj49
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?
Replies: 57
Views: 5969

Re: Best way to make some dollars on a 10 day vacation?

I'd recommend driving Uber or Lyft, or UberEats, where you just deliver food. I'm also single, and I find that it's a good way to meet people, and as an engineer, you might enjoy the mental challenges, like figuring out routes, looking for promising ride areas, seeing where other drivers are at and ...
by rj49
Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe:Better To Face The Correction
Replies: 51
Views: 7341

Re: Larry Swedroe:Better To Face The Correction

--The Buffett argument really doesn't fly, since Buffett currently has $100 billion in cash, due to lack of buying opportunities. --Grantham's calls aren't as valuable as his GMO 7-year returns...in January they estimated EM and Developed to be the only asset classes to have positive returns over 7 ...
by rj49
Sat Oct 14, 2017 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 59
Views: 5759

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

You might check out the Toyota Corolla. It has vast rear-seat room, last year's model came with various safety improvements, and with decline in passenger car sales you can probably get a very good deal on one. I'm leasing one now for $185/mo, and like the interior, LED headlights, spaciousness, and...
by rj49
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?
Replies: 73
Views: 6786

Re: Is there boglehead consensus on buying a car?

I finally joined the lease club too, since I don't want to deal with repairs or getting tired of a car. I got a Toyota Corolla for $185 a month, and with the falls in new car sales and the rush to buy SUVs, there should continue to be attractive lease options for non-luxury passenger cars. My Bogleh...
by rj49
Mon Oct 09, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades
Replies: 141
Views: 17841

Re: Bogle himself is saying we will expect like 3% for the next decades

Yep as great as Jack Bogle his, his crystal ball is just as reliable as the talking heads on market watch, cnbc, and etc. Actually Mr. Bogle doesn't use a crystal ball, he uses the Gordon equation, of earnings growth rate + dividend yield=fundamental return, which has been fairly accurate in tracki...
by rj49
Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle video (discusses international)
Replies: 44
Views: 4763

Re: John Bogle video (discusses international)

International diversification would mean that your international fund would have gone up 20% this year, versus 10%A for TSM, with a lot of smart people saying international equities were less overpriced than US, including the GMO 7-year forecast, Rob Arnott, and others. Friends of Mr. Bogle like Bur...
by rj49
Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?
Replies: 90
Views: 11578

Re: Has the "bond bubble" caused you to change your allocation?

Interesting perspective by Jason Zweig, that individual investors are actually increasing their bond allocation, because of retiree need for safe income, automatic rebalancing in TR funds, and other factors: https://blogs.wsj.com/moneybeat/2017/08/04/this-market-really-is-different-this-time/ Person...
by rj49
Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do
Replies: 58
Views: 8413

Re: Losing confidence in Ally Bank - what would you do

If it's practical, you could switch to the VG Prime MMF, which is currently yielding 1.11%. It would make one less form to process at tax time, it makes it easier to withdraw and add to VG funds, and it's quicker to increase yields as interest rates rise. There's evidently a slight risk of breaking ...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I still buy index funds now at such a high price before an impending recession?
Replies: 59
Views: 9068

Re: Should I still buy index funds now at such a high price before an impending recession?

This is not consistent with Boglehead philosophy. You are proposing that one should make short-term speculation in assets which have negative expected value. Or even if not agreeing with the OP, the correct answer is that no one knows when a recession will occur. That is, a recession is always "imp...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Costco vs. Amazon - Thoughts of Prime Members?
Replies: 80
Views: 11451

Re: Costco vs. Amazon - Thoughts of Prime Members?

I decided a few years ago that Costco wasn't worth the stress and temptations--cart wars to get samples, waiting in line for check-out and gas, the temptations to have a hot dog or berry ice cream every visit, having my cupboards and fridge full of things that were appealing after the first couple o...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 77
Views: 7569

Re: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?

Foreign returns are heavily skewed by the Japanese megabubble in the 1980s, where they dominated the foreign index and have never recovered. Thus VG didn't promote international until the 2000s, when it outperformed US after the bubble crash (few Bogleheads or writers promoted foreign either, since ...
by rj49
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?
Replies: 66
Views: 5246

Re: A good VISA card for Gas & Groceries?

I hate bothering with points, redemption levels, and rotating categories (that always encourage me to overspend in those categories, wiping out any bonus). I go for the USAA 2.5% cashback visa, which you can redeem for any amount at any time, and doesn't have foreign transaction fees (unlike Citi) a...
by rj49
Tue Jun 27, 2017 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?
Replies: 21
Views: 2304

Re: Any Reason to Stay With USAA?

I like their 2.5% cashback visa card, and you can redeem rewards easily for any amount, and it has no foreign exchange fee. The only requirement is a monthly direct deposit into one of their checking accounts. It's only available in certain states now. You can also get USAA insurance if you have a r...
by rj49
Sat Jun 17, 2017 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Metropcs iPhone SE $200
Replies: 42
Views: 5449

Re: Metropcs iPhone SE $200

The cheapest plan I've found for the most data is on Mintsim, which uses TMobile's network. The only catch is you prepay for a year of service to get the best deal, which right now is $20 a month for unlimited everything with 5GB at high speed (using a 20% off code from retailmenot.com). Their lower...
by rj49
Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: radio alarm clock that projects the time on the wall or ceiling
Replies: 18
Views: 2152

Re: radio alarm clock that projects the time on the wall or ceiling

I have a Sony Dream Machine. It has multiple nature sounds to fall asleep to or be woken by, the time on the wall can be adjusted based on nearness and angle of the light, or you can just tap a button on top which will illuminate the clock (two settings, bright and dim), and it has a decent radio. T...