Search found 387 matches

by chuckb84
Tue Sep 22, 2020 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4591
Views: 1279347

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Twilight of the Gods , by Ian W. Toll. This is third in a series of three books about World War II in the Pacific. The book covers the last year of the war from summer 1944 through the Japanese surrender in August 1945. In addition to descriptions of battles (the Marianas, Peleliu, the Phillipines,...
by chuckb84
Mon Sep 21, 2020 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance and Beneficiary IRA Accounts and Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 383

Re: Inheritance and Beneficiary IRA Accounts and Taxes

It's still an IRA>IRA transaction, so that would seem okay to me. On the other hand, we're two different people, so maybe that invalidates the idea INDIVIDUAL retirement account... so, no, you can't transfer money from yours to hers... You realize (assuming your father passed after Jan 1) that you ...
by chuckb84
Mon Sep 21, 2020 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Inheritance and Beneficiary IRA Accounts and Taxes
Replies: 4
Views: 383

Inheritance and Beneficiary IRA Accounts and Taxes

My sister and I are working through the details of settling our father's estate, and I need some tax advice. Dad split everything between us and the great bulk of the inheritance is in his 401K accounts, which become "inherited IRA accounts" for my sister and I. Only a small part of the inheritance ...
by chuckb84
Tue Sep 15, 2020 4:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too Many Monthly Digital Subscriptions - Time for Apple One?
Replies: 25
Views: 2525

Re: Too Many Monthly Digital Subscriptions - Time for Apple One?

I just dumped Youtube TV, because I started out paying $49/month and they keep raising the price and adding channels that I don't care about. You might look at Sling TV as a cheaper alternative. Personally, I just dumped streaming network TV altogether, as there are so alternatives. Aside from that,...
by chuckb84
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]
Replies: 2118
Views: 225294

Re: [What TV Show Have You Recently Watched?]

"Away" on netflix. Good show, and I love the casting choices for the Mars expedition crew. It's a lot more about human relations than scifi, but very enjoyable on both counts, although I occasionally cringe at the science mistakes.
by chuckb84
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books or Courses on leadership that helped your career
Replies: 51
Views: 2552

Re: Books or Courses on leadership that helped your career

Other favorites are Often biographies Rather than business books, including a great one I’m reading now, “Grant” by Ron Chernow. Grant was an amazing leader, one that history has not given full credit. In six years, he went from failed store clerk to POTUS. I agree with this. You can learn a lot ab...
by chuckb84
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books or Courses on leadership that helped your career
Replies: 51
Views: 2552

Re: Books or Courses on leadership that helped your career

Other favorites are Often biographies Rather than business books, including a great one I’m reading now, “Grant” by Ron Chernow. Grant was an amazing leader, one that history has not given full credit. In six years, he went from failed store clerk to POTUS. I agree with this. You can learn a lot ab...
by chuckb84
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My LenderFi refinance is going well
Replies: 1174
Views: 104398

Re: My LenderFi refinance is going well

I did a refinance with Lenderfi that started(!) in March. As everything locked down we blew WAY past the time limit on the rate we locked, which was 3.375%. Lenderfi never relocked another rate, but gave me the market rate when we finally closed, which was 3.0%. Since I had no obligation to follow t...
by chuckb84
Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:34 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation-What have you learned about yourself?
Replies: 51
Views: 3439

Re: Asset Allocation-What have you learned about yourself?

I understand AA is a highly personal matter with no right or wrong guidelines (Well, some general guidelines). Having said this, what have you learned about yourself over the years that maybe surprised you? For example, I have found I am WAY more conservative on my risk tolerance than I was 10 year...
by chuckb84
Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the best concert you ever witnessed?
Replies: 434
Views: 31425

Re: What is the best concert you ever witnessed?

ELP about 1976. Pretty much at their best around then. Amazing show. The Who, also about 1976. Keith Moon was alive and kicking, and wow was he amazing. Mott the Hoople, 1977. These boys struggled so long to become stars and this was the peak of their brief fame. A wonderful concert (and likely a so...
by chuckb84
Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year
Replies: 166
Views: 10869

Re: PSA: switch to LED light bulbs and save hundreds per year

Maybe this isn’t a surprise to others, but it sure was to me. We have a chandelier in our kitchen that is on whenever we’re home and awake. It uses 6 40w light bulbs. With us all home because of COVID it’s on around 16 hours per day. The equivalent LED bulb uses 3.3w, and our CA electric rate is $0...
by chuckb84
Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gravel Bike Recommendation
Replies: 98
Views: 5665

Re: Gravel Bike Recommendation

Jamis renegade series is good.
by chuckb84
Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What is your asset allocation and what future % returns are you expecting?
Replies: 91
Views: 6013

Re: What is your asset allocation and what future % returns are you expecting?

Three fund portfolio, 40/60, set up as 32% VTSAX, 8% VTIAX, 60% VBTLX and I look here and pick the most conservative numbers. https://www.bogleheads.org/blog/2020/01/03/three-fund-portfolio-2019-update/ So, currently using 5.63% for the whole portfolio with 7.31% standard deviation. With market valu...
by chuckb84
Tue Aug 18, 2020 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products that last forever
Replies: 238
Views: 15265

Re: Products that last forever

My HP-41C calculator. Purchased in 1978 and still in use. Somewhere along the way I lost my HP-35, which was still going strong too, since 1973.

Of course, the "HP-41C" that gets the most use is the perfect replica app version that is on my iPhone, but still...
by chuckb84
Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feds: Reach Number, Stay or Go?
Replies: 38
Views: 4186

Re: Feds: Reach Number, Stay or Go?

I retired the moment I hit MRA, which for me was 60.5. I took the FERS supplement of 75% of age-62 SS and started SS at 62. This was a calculated tradeoff between early retirement while young and healthy, vs more money when I was older and perhaps not so vigorous. I'm currently having some serious ...
by chuckb84
Tue Aug 18, 2020 1:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: They Stayed The Course
Replies: 24
Views: 4054

Re: They Stayed The Course

On the way down, we hit a rebalance band, so sold bonds and bought stocks, much to DW's trepidation.

On the way up, we hit the opposite rebalance band, so sold the cheap stocks we bought earlier to rebalance.

Stayed course, made a little money.
by chuckb84
Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feds: Reach Number, Stay or Go?
Replies: 38
Views: 4186

Re: Feds: Reach Number, Stay or Go?

I retired the moment I hit MRA, which for me was 60.5. I took the FERS supplement of 75% of age-62 SS and started SS at 62. This was a calculated tradeoff between early retirement while young and healthy, vs more money when I was older and perhaps not so vigorous. I'm currently having some serious h...
by chuckb84
Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Products that last forever
Replies: 238
Views: 15265

Re: Products that last forever

BMW motorcycles. My 1995 K75 has 50,000 miles on it, and these are known to go over 200,000 with no issues. Change the oil and that's it. When I bought it, my friend who advised my said "Put it in your will, it will outlive you", and please no snarky jokes about how riding a motorcycle lowers my lif...
by chuckb84
Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books that changed your life
Replies: 242
Views: 22405

Re: Books that changed your life

Meditations
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Feynman Lectures on Physics
A Random Walk Down Wall Street
Starting Strength
Innumeracy
by chuckb84
Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another inheritance situation. Comments appreciated.
Replies: 8
Views: 1199

Re: Another inheritance situation. Comments appreciated.

Thanks for replies. I'll do the math carefully with respect to tax brackets. I understand the IRAs have to be separate. I'll just set that up with the same 3 fund portfolio that we have for our existing 401K, although I'm slightly tempted to set up a competing lazy portfolio and have a horse race. S...
by chuckb84
Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Another inheritance situation. Comments appreciated.
Replies: 8
Views: 1199

Another inheritance situation. Comments appreciated.

We're retired for 5 years and are now inheriting from my parents. We have SS and an inflation-indexed pension. We live comfortably on that, with small withdrawals from our 401K account. The inheritance from my father is a Vanguard IRA, and multiple accounts with Wells Fargo. All the accounts are tax...
by chuckb84
Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Think no one can beat the index?
Replies: 158
Views: 15146

Re: Think no one can beat the index?

I posted the stuff I paste below in another thread today but I am chiming in to show you I am living proof of beating the index. 200% returns on tax deferred accounts and 600% on margin account. You can beat the market on your own without needing to pay someone to do it. Since oct 2019 i began acti...
by chuckb84
Thu Aug 06, 2020 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax efficient way to handle inheritance?
Replies: 3
Views: 495

Tax efficient way to handle inheritance?

We're happily retired for 5 years now, and about to inherit from my father. I'm 65, DW is 64, and we've both started SS. I also have an inflation indexed pension. We bought a nice house for retirement, with good bones, and have put about $200K into fixing it up very nicely. One of the goals when we ...
by chuckb84
Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4591
Views: 1279347

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. An up close and personal account of the Battle of Samar, fought on 25 October 1944 between Taffy 3, a small American task force commanded by Rear-Admiral Clifton A.F.("Ziggy") Sprague and the Center Force, and the main body of Japanese Imperial Fleet commanded by ...
by chuckb84
Sat Aug 01, 2020 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 3165
Views: 547668

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Up 2.8%, to my great surprise.

Up 5.1% on the trailing year, which I think is a more useful metric.
by chuckb84
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Noise cancelling headphones as a way to survive in a house full of kids
Replies: 40
Views: 2639

Re: Noise cancelling headphones as a way to survive in a house full of kids

As others have noted, "anti-sound" headphone, no matter what brand, aren't the best for removing voices. Try these, the best passive noise blocking you can get, and audiophile quality sound. Basically earplugs with a great balanced armature audio transducer. These guys have been in the business fore...
by chuckb84
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance for daughter arriving from London
Replies: 10
Views: 1079

Re: Insurance for daughter arriving from London

I'm about to start some fairly serious medical procedures. My 28-year-old daughter who lives in London is flying in this weekend to be here and help us. This deeply touched my heart, and we are trying to work out the details. One of them is that she's over 26, so no longer on our policy, and the NH...
by chuckb84
Sat Jul 25, 2020 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 6868
Views: 455757

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

bluebolt wrote: Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:13 am Last month I refinanced a HELOC with a one-year intro rate of 2.99% (Prime - 2.26%) and a rate of Prime - 0.5% after that.
I'm interested in refinancing a HELOC, so could you mention who you did that with?
by chuckb84
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: With interest rates at zero, is VBTLX still a sensible component of the Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 117
Views: 8259

Re: With interest rates at zero, is VBTLX still a sensible component of the Three Fund Portfolio?

Since stocks had been going up for so long, I kept 40% in VBTLX somewhat grudgingly, wondering why, and watching my Dad's very aggressive portfolio do much better than mine. Then came covid. If you were bond-heavy for much of your past decade, your dad's portfolio outperformed you very substantiall...
by chuckb84
Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Insurance for daughter arriving from London
Replies: 10
Views: 1079

Insurance for daughter arriving from London

I'm about to start some fairly serious medical procedures. My 28-year-old daughter who lives in London is flying in this weekend to be here and help us. This deeply touched my heart, and we are trying to work out the details. One of them is that she's over 26, so no longer on our policy, and the NHS...
by chuckb84
Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: With interest rates at zero, is VBTLX still a sensible component of the Three Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 117
Views: 8259

Re: With interest rates at zero, is VBTLX still a sensible component of the Three Fund Portfolio?

Since stocks had been going up for so long, I kept 40% in VBTLX somewhat grudgingly, wondering why, and watching my Dad's very aggressive portfolio do much better than mine. Then came covid. Suddenly, I was really happy to have those bonds! And, by the numbers YTD VBTLX, +7.19% VTSAX, +0.58% I know ...
by chuckb84
Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 3165
Views: 547668

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

Surprised to see I'm up 2% YTD. I wasn't expecting that back in March!
by chuckb84
Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:23 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Long list of Lazy Portfolios
Replies: 9
Views: 1179

Re: Long list of Lazy Portfolios

This is a great list, and you can roll your own to compare with many others.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OEcRsK ... O2qze/view
by chuckb84
Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Care to share your low cost /no cost 30 year fixed refi rate and lender?
Replies: 5
Views: 932

Re: Care to share your low cost /no cost 30 year fixed refi rate and lender?

We got 3.0% from Lendefi with appraisal waived and a lender credit. We netted about $250 back when we closed. Very happy with this, but I'll see where rates are in six months. I'd love to get a rate starting with a 2!
by chuckb84
Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?
Replies: 185
Views: 19429

Re: Pandemic buys that have improved quality of life?

Etymotic ER4XR ear buds. I've owned the ER4P for almost 20 years and these are a nice upgrade. Still the signature crystal clear analytic sound, but just a slight bass boost. And the noise isolation is incredible. https://www.amazon.com/Etymotic-Research-ER4XR-Extended-Response/dp/B01GW786B4/ref=sxt...
by chuckb84
Sun Jul 12, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4591
Views: 1279347

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors. An up close and personal account of the Battle of Samar, fought on 25 October 1944 between Taffy 3, a small American task force commanded by Rear-Admiral Clifton A.F.("Ziggy") Sprague and the Center Force, and the main body of Japanese Imperial Fleet commanded by V...
by chuckb84
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Were You Around During Dotcom Bubble?
Replies: 182
Views: 11492

Re: Were You Around During Dotcom Bubble?

At that time all my investments were in the TSP, in a reasonable mix of US, international and bonds. I actually forsaw the crash, went 100% bonds and made reasonable money while most people were losing badly. BUT.....I didn't get the timing at all right to get back into stocks and missed a lot of th...
by chuckb84
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Monte Carlo Simulations: Pros, Cons and Value
Replies: 58
Views: 2700

Re: Monte Carlo Simulations: Pros, Cons and Value

Most Monte Carlo simulators have two limitations: 1. Returns are modeled as a log normal distribution. 2. The return numbers selected from that distribution are chosen randomly, ie, no correlation or momentum. Another point is that many MC simulators are subject to these approximations, but they don...
by chuckb84
Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Experience w/LenderFi's Rate Insurance Program???
Replies: 13
Views: 1697

Re: Experience w/LenderFi's Rate Insurance Program???

This is not a comment on Lenderfi's Rate Insurance Program, but one them as a company. I'm very pleased with our refi and their help! I locked a 3.375 rate in March, just as covid was taking hold and companies were sending people home, working half staffing levels, etc. The bottom line is the proces...
by chuckb84
Thu Jul 02, 2020 1:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying house without realtors
Replies: 84
Views: 5078

Re: Buying house without realtors

We sold a house 5 years ago when we retired with no realtors involved. The buyers got a very thorough home inspection---the most thorough I have ever seen---and then we just used an attorney to close. Buyers paid for the inspection and we split the few hundred dollars for the attorney. Total cost wa...
by chuckb84
Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing vs working
Replies: 67
Views: 5290

Re: Investing vs working

Interesting question. I've tried to calculate that, roughly. I worked 30 years in STEM as a .gov employee, thus a very good pension, inflation indexed. I include that, plus SS as "investment" income, because I get them as a consequence of my investing time earning those benefits. I expect to be reti...
by chuckb84
Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the single best piece of exercise equipment you bought for your home?
Replies: 230
Views: 12725

Re: What is the single best piece of exercise equipment you bought for your home?

A set of kettlebells. Lighter ones for DW, "heavier" ones for me. The set lets you work up from light>heavy.

A percussion massager! This is wonderful in its own right, but great for loosening up and massaging the sore spots. I'm (almost) not minding the loss of massages during this lockdown...
by chuckb84
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 4591
Views: 1279347

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

"Deadliest Enemy", about infectious diseases. It's not very uplifting, but a healthy dose of reality. What we're going through now with covid is just a warm up exercise. I've become convinced that we need an ongoing investment of $100B/year to get prepared for the next one....and it's cheap at the p...
by chuckb84
Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bogleheads walked the talk; be proud.
Replies: 39
Views: 5856

Re: Bogleheads walked the talk; be proud.

We hit a rebalance band when the market tanked, so I used VBTLX to buy VTSAX. Then, rather to my surprise, we hit a rebalance point again, on the way, so sold VTSAX to buy VBTLX. The net effect is that I bought low and sold high! If was interesting persuading DW to buy stocks in a market that was cr...
by chuckb84
Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What kind of sunglasses?
Replies: 107
Views: 6621

Re: What kind of sunglasses?

Anyway, for the OP, if you're going to step up away from gas station shades, definitely look for something with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses are great, but there are also downsides to them, which is the reason that many high end sunglasses intentionally do not include polarization. Polarizati...
by chuckb84
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Susie Orman Says You are Crazy to be Investing in Bonds
Replies: 173
Views: 17575

Re: Susie Orman Says You are Crazy to be Investing in Bonds

"That’s personal-finance celebrity Suze Orman offering some advice...."

Run away. Like taking stock buying advice from Jim Cramer....maybe worse.
by chuckb84
Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ordering used car parts online?
Replies: 17
Views: 941

Re: Ordering used car parts online?

We live in a fairly isolated small city (off the road system) and I'm getting my mother's 2014 Honda CR-V ready to sell. Somehow she lost the front passenger side headrest (how do you do that?) and I'm hoping to replace it before putting it up for sale. We do have a salvage yard but selection is ve...
by chuckb84
Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance Mega Thread
Replies: 6868
Views: 455757

Re: Refinance Mega Thread

Well, it has been a journey, but today we closed our refinance with lenderfi. We started in March(!!), locked 3.375, submitted all the documents, and then....everything just shut down. All the companies that lenderfi works with sent employees home and the process just froze. I made MANY phone calls ...
by chuckb84
Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Chances of no recession in 2020
Replies: 17
Views: 2669

Re: Chances of no recession in 2020

Well, if a recession is mainly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth, then I'd say a recession in 2020 is nearly certain.
by chuckb84
Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can someone explain to me how bonds could possibly be used for any sort of significant income or gains?
Replies: 50
Views: 3643

Re: Can someone explain to me how bonds could possibly be used for any sort of significant income or gains?

Can someone explain to me how bond funds, with our all-time low interest rates, could possibly be used for any sort of significant income or gains? I just don't see it. Of course, if rates drop, bond prices go up, I know that. However, if rates increase, bond prices will drop and the recovery can t...