Search found 583 matches

by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data
Replies: 33
Views: 2956

Re: Discarding dead cell phone without purging my data

Besides the physical aspect, this might also be a good time to also de-authorize that phone for any apps you have that use this feature. For both security and administrative purposes. At least 3 types come to mind where this is especially useful - password managers, your Google account (or any email...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Best to Utilize Permanent Life Insurance Upon Retirement
Replies: 22
Views: 1780

Re: How Best to Utilize Permanent Life Insurance Upon Retirement

I can relate to your thought process. I've got three very old policies and have done the same exercise yearly since my mid 50's (62 now). Based on my policies (2 small whole life, 1 mid-sized universal life) and my needs, I've been doing your Option 1. Option 2 will be very valuable for me over the ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?
Replies: 24
Views: 2271

Re: Are merchants more (too) careless these days?

I don't see any big difference in recent years. Not at all. Big box - online - small retail, it seems service is always a hit or miss thing. I try to patronize stores that give better service (again, physical or online), but there is so much day-to-day variation that it barely matters to me. At leas...
by DetroitRick
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 151
Views: 14725

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

One of my closest friends chose to retire in Mexico, Ensenada area. Moved there from LA largely for financial reasons. Moved in at age 63, left just before turning 75 last fall. He had a nice place, great neighbors, low crime, good stores, and almost universally cheap cost of living. Inconveniences ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using ACA for early retirement years
Replies: 103
Views: 7201

Re: Using ACA for early retirement years

Yes. We've been buying policies through ACA since inception, and expect to continue until Medicare age. For me, with just over 2 more years, I think it's a safe to predict continuation. For wife, 7 more years, I really have no idea - in light of so many recent attempts to dismantle and highly variab...
by DetroitRick
Tue Aug 14, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!
Replies: 1052
Views: 82738

Re: It's not enough to mumble "Stay the Course"... INT'L Investing has been a disaster!

I don't mumble those sayings. Or any sayings. Or care what gurus think. My allocation is based on my needs and on general long-term expectations. By picking your timeframe, you can absolutely prove or disprove ANY asset allocation or the inclusion/exclusion of ANY possible investment segment. No mat...
by DetroitRick
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard updated 1099 in August!
Replies: 28
Views: 2105

Re: Vanguard updated 1099 in August!

This is very common. I've had it happen with both stocks dividends and mutual funds distributions. Typically it's been a reclassification of a distribution or dividend already received. But out of all the times this has ever happened to me, an error was only evident in advance one time (and I called...
by DetroitRick
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How often do you check your brokerage accounts
Replies: 77
Views: 5183

Re: How often do you check your brokerage accounts

Daily or more often as needed (executing a trade, getting documents, satisfying my curiosity, etc.). Unless you react badly to what you see, I don't see the problem with market watching. Just not to an excess where it serves no purpose, takes up too much time, or causes you to attach too much meanin...
by DetroitRick
Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6762

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

We still average 3 checks per month. All other bills are on credit card, either auto-pay or via online accounts. Checks are free at my banks anyway, so not something I worry about either way.
by DetroitRick
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Relaxing - quieting the mind
Replies: 47
Views: 3133

Re: Relaxing - quieting the mind

I have always had the same problem. Even in retirement now it creeps back in. These are all really great suggestions so far. What works for me varies - pure relaxation (like petting the dog, listening to music that I like, exercise, nature, watching ships sail by). Or sometimes I need immersive acti...
by DetroitRick
Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is It Really That Difficult to Apply for Social Security Online?
Replies: 13
Views: 1014

Re: Is It Really That Difficult to Apply for Social Security Online?

Applied online in December 2017. The application process itself is as simple as can be. And self-explanatory. It took me, maybe, 15 minutes. And that was only because I wanted to be extra careful on reading fine print and entering info. But having done it, I can't think of any aspect where anybody c...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: step-up basis after a spouse's passing
Replies: 26
Views: 2532

Re: step-up basis after a spouse's passing

Spouse died in 2009. Upon notification, and receipt of documentation, Schwab journaled brokerage assets to a new brokerage account. ... Edited to add: In this case, for non-community property state AND a joint account, step-up (and step-down) was on the 50% of the deceased joint owner's basis, not ...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: step-up basis after a spouse's passing
Replies: 26
Views: 2532

Re: step-up basis after a spouse's passing

The big difference, of course, lies in your case being the community property state. Plus, what I don't know is whether, due to the new-ish brokerage cost basis reporting requirements, if Schwab would still let me enter date of death initial valuations if this happened currently. But at the time, I...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: step-up basis after a spouse's passing
Replies: 26
Views: 2532

Re: step-up basis after a spouse's passing

While waiting for more responses, here's what happened when we last went through this with my wife's parents. Jointly-held brokerage account (spouses), but NOT in a community property state, and prior to the covered/non-covered reporting requirement changes. Specifically: Spouse died in 2009. Upon n...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to send flowers out of town
Replies: 21
Views: 1274

Re: Best way to send flowers out of town

I guess I don't' understand how using a local florist will ensure they are a good florist. Simple by doing one or more of 3 things - checking (skeptically of course) online reviews, call somebody local and see who they use (the best choice, if I have the time), probe the florist for attentiveness, ...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best way to send flowers out of town
Replies: 21
Views: 1274

Re: Best way to send flowers out of town

After a string of bad luck and poor service, we've reverted back to mostly calling a local florist and purchasing by phone. No more ftd.com or the other services. No middle-man who doesn't know local supply. Plus we have an immediate contact if there are delivery issues. It's been working out much b...
by DetroitRick
Sun Aug 05, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comfort level with Credit Card Balance
Replies: 86
Views: 5737

Re: Comfort level with Credit Card Balance

I'm not debt averse, within reason, and if it serves a purpose (for leverage or bridging short-term needs). I run almost all expenses through cards, which can mean modestly high balances at times. Those balances don't bother me at all. I manage this by monitoring spending, so I have no fear of exces...
by DetroitRick
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to track and manage investment income to meet tax tier objectives
Replies: 4
Views: 543

Re: How to track and manage investment income to meet tax tier objectives

Of all the different ways I've done this, my final methodology is to just use my own custom Excel spreadsheet. Income sources down the vertical axis, months across the horizontal. The first version is an initial plan for the year, and a second version is actual to date (by month) and forecast (by mo...
by DetroitRick
Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 176
Views: 9786

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

I never have yet. But I would base that decision on the specific countries (and in some cases the specific locations within them) that were involved. For EU, for me, no. If I was going to a third world country where either the medical system was uniformly poor, or I had no local contacts that could ...
by DetroitRick
Tue Jul 31, 2018 8:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?
Replies: 61
Views: 7936

Re: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?

No surprise for me when I filed. Filed in December 2017 for payments starting this April. The payment I got was exactly $1.00 different than than my November 2017 statement. When filing (electronically for me) I had to answer questions whether I worked in 2017 or expect to in 2018. Which could have ...
by DetroitRick
Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ADR Fee Dividends
Replies: 4
Views: 465

Re: ADR Fee Dividends

As others have said, the ADR fee you got charged is unusually high for 65 shares. A fairly typical charge would be in the 1/2 cent to 3 cent per share range. I've never incurred an ADR fee that was material in any way, and I hold quite a few of them. But these fees are levied by the custodian, in A-...
by DetroitRick
Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age
Replies: 130
Views: 9700

Re: Tips for staying active / injury-free into older age

... "older ages (mid 50's)" - ouch. Anyway, I'm 62 and in much better shape than when I was 50. Basically, for me it boils down to keeping consistently active and watching diet. More specifically I do 3 things nearly daily - very long walks (4 miles daily, 8-15 miles once per week), a specific set o...
by DetroitRick
Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unusual asset protection strategies
Replies: 11
Views: 1474

Re: Unusual asset protection strategies

I think there are asset protection strategies worth paying some attention to, but others that are simply not. That's not any kind of advice, just my own choices in life. If I can take an action that won't turn my life upside down, AND the risk it mitigates is high probability, I'll do it. But nuclea...
by DetroitRick
Sat Jul 14, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early retirement
Replies: 145
Views: 14487

Re: Early retirement

Oh yeah, absolutely. Retired at 50, and got these types of reactions fairly consistently until I crossed 60, 2 years ago. But almost universally from older people and almost never from younger people or people my own age. Rude mostly. But I can be ruder, so I eventually starting shutting it down qui...
by DetroitRick
Fri Jul 13, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does tilting towards shorter-term bonds make sense?
Replies: 15
Views: 1863

Re: Does tilting towards shorter-term bonds make sense?

It does to me, given my overall portfolio construction and my short-term withdrawal needs: 1)The yield curve is relatively flat, and and I don't consider the current government or corporate yields to be providing adequate compensation for fixed income risks beyond 3 years or so. That's pure opinion ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Jul 12, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question for pre-ACA Early Retirees and pre-ACA solo folks
Replies: 33
Views: 2006

Re: Question for pre-ACA Early Retirees

I retired from a large, slowly-failing corporation at age 50, end of 2005, well before ACA. At that time, my state had an agreement with Blue Cross where they had mandatory-issue health insurance for all those no longer cobra or employer eligible. Decent coverage, but not cheap. It had been in place...
by DetroitRick
Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tracking Investments?
Replies: 6
Views: 802

Re: Tracking Investments?

Security and fraud is a concern to me, and I monitor that in real-time. For me, rather than just looking at monthly statements, I watch all transaction notifications that I get from my brokers - trade alerts, trade confirmations, withdrawal alerts, and deposit alerts. These come to me electronically...
by DetroitRick
Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Monthly Water Usage
Replies: 61
Views: 4368

Re: Monthly Water Usage

We average around 6,200 gallons per month. 2 people, one big dog, no leaks, little seasonal variation. Outside irrigation is limited (HOA does grass, we do small flower beds) - so not a lot of summer months impact. Flow-through humidifier has a minor effect in coldest winter months. No other variati...
by DetroitRick
Thu Jul 05, 2018 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to tip
Replies: 87
Views: 5809

Re: How to tip

We tip on bottom line, after tax. Always have, and always will. 20% on 6% tax (in my state) is too trivial to cause me to get deep into "tip theory and analysis". That would be an "extra" $1.20 on a $100 tab, so who seriously cares? We typically tip in the 20% to 35% range, depending on circumstance...
by DetroitRick
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)
Replies: 65
Views: 5003

Re: Retiring in Michigan (Ann Arbor)

Frequent visitor there for my entire life, took a job transfer and worked there, finished grad school, and lived there for 9 years. I later took a job next to Detroit Metro airport and had no particular issues with commute from NE Ann Arbor. I loved it, more than most places, and regretted having to...
by DetroitRick
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What % of your equity is int’l?
Replies: 141
Views: 8364

Re: What % of your equity is int’l?

30%. Given all my particulars, anything in the 25% to 50% range would be fine by me.
by DetroitRick
Sun Jul 01, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Advisers Add $$$ Value?
Replies: 71
Views: 5947

Re: Do Advisers Add $$$ Value?

While I've never used an advisor, and don't think they would value for me, I do believe they can and do. Unfortunately, I can only see proof in the form of individual observations - not in aggregated or averaged studies. So I doubt those studies really exist, but I have not done a thorough search. I...
by DetroitRick
Sat Jun 30, 2018 9:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]
Replies: 31
Views: 2975

Re: [Do you subscribe to Consumer Reports?]

Yes, online only. I always let subscription lapse and renew at special discounted rate. It's worth that to me, but no more. I think they do a decent job in general, not so much in tech. Discussions of features and their value, and repair frequency, are what typically interest me most. To me they are...
by DetroitRick
Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?
Replies: 73
Views: 7386

Re: Cheapest way to buy a phone in 2018?

You might also take a look at Amazon's "Prime Exclusive Phones". With Prime membership and a willingness to accept a few pre-installed Amazon apps, there are some decent deals. They currently offer 5 models this way, and (unsurprisingly) no Apple. Got my wife a LG G6 from this program and have been ...
by DetroitRick
Fri Jun 29, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?
Replies: 32
Views: 1981

Re: Anyone use T-mobile cell network?

SE Michigan urban and suburban - good service here. Ironically my home is right on the edge of a coverage area - no particular problems but 4g speed is variable (poor to outstanding, varying from time to time). 3/4 mile away, always perfect, and blazing fast. Call quality has almost never been an is...
by DetroitRick
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Individual Treasuries at auction - Cost
Replies: 4
Views: 454

Re: Individual Treasuries at auction - Cost

As others have said, this is the normal way it works. Final prices will based on winning competitive bids, and aren't known in advance of auction. Of course, they are Treasuries, so the range is broadly predictable (not exactly, of course, the band is pretty tight) based on current yield curve. You ...
by DetroitRick
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?
Replies: 58
Views: 5351

Re: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?

46% of market value (and 3% in unrealized losses). Individual stock portfolio, positions acquired from 2006 to present.
by DetroitRick
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What happens to shares in a merger?
Replies: 9
Views: 772

Re: What happens to shares in a merger?

OP, not to complicate things, but because you expressed concern about brokerage reporting accuracy, do make sure you are dealing with the correct cost basis for Orbital. In February 2015, Alliant Techsystems (former symbol ATK), spun off Vista Outdoor (symbol VSTO) and basically merged to become Or...
by DetroitRick
Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short-term Treasury ETF vs just buying Treasuries
Replies: 41
Views: 3225

Re: Short-term Treasury ETF vs just buying Treasuries

The differences quoted above between large and small buyer ARE small, as they typically would be in the Treasury market. Remember for this example, Quantity 1 = $1,000 face. Not $100 like Treasury Direct. So for every $1,000 Treasury purchased, that big buyer is paying $0.29 less or 0.029% (not 0.29...
by DetroitRick
Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What happens to shares in a merger?
Replies: 9
Views: 772

Re: What happens to shares in a merger?

OP, not to complicate things, but because you expressed concern about brokerage reporting accuracy, do make sure you are dealing with the correct cost basis for Orbital. In February 2015, Alliant Techsystems (former symbol ATK), spun off Vista Outdoor (symbol VSTO) and basically merged to become Orb...
by DetroitRick
Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What happens to shares in a merger?
Replies: 9
Views: 772

Re: What happens to shares in a merger?

It was a pure cash offer, approved last September. Payout was $134.50 per share, earlier this month. I closed my position last September when this became final, Assuming this is in taxable account: From a tax angle, for the OP this is ataxable event for this year and for you it was a taxable event ...
by DetroitRick
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What happens to shares in a merger?
Replies: 9
Views: 772

Re: What happens to shares in a merger?

It was a pure cash offer, approved last September. Payout was $134.50 per share, earlier this month. Consideration to shareholders in mergers can be paid various ways, including cash, shares of a totally new entity, shares of acquiring entity, etc. But this was a pure cash deal and very normal. Alth...
by DetroitRick
Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is individual Bonds better than Bond Fund?
Replies: 58
Views: 5155

Re: Is individual Bonds better than Bond Fund?

Both have their place, and neither is by definition "better". It's more a matter of what best meets your specific needs. There are many risks in the fixed income world (such as rate, principal, call, default, etc.) and it helps to focus on what matters most to you. Don't be too quick to exclusively ...
by DetroitRick
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 155
Views: 9227

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

Most of our groceries are from: Kroger, Meijer (regional), and Target Also use Whole Foods and Trader Joe's to a smaller degree, plus some ethnic food stores and our farmers markets. We're generally not motivated very much by the organic label overall, but there are some products where we slightly p...
by DetroitRick
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4723

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

For me absolutely, I found it extremely useful. Like delamer mentions above, it gives you a baseline from which you can think through adjustments and changes. So I'm glad I did it, now about 13 years into early retirement. Although I found it useful irrespective of the retirement aspect too. For exa...
by DetroitRick
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your hobbies?
Replies: 59
Views: 5735

Re: What are your hobbies?

exercise (walking 4+ miles/day, weights, stretching)
dog
classical guitarist
dabble in piano
home repair (hate to call it a hobby, but so much time....)
gardening
photography
technology (pc's and devices, software and hardware)
shooting sports
reading
by DetroitRick
Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with
Replies: 152
Views: 12698

Re: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with

My deviations from BH principles: Taxable account is entirely individual stocks I prefer actively-managed funds to indexed in international equity and fixed income I supplement my core indexed US equity positions with some degree of active management I severely limit my market timing, but I"ll do it...
by DetroitRick
Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone buying Individual Short Term Treasuries?
Replies: 19
Views: 1510

Re: Anyone buying Individual Short Term Treasuries?

Yes. Started doing so in February. Mainly in the 9 month to 1-1/2 year range on the secondary market. I'm laddering to match cash needs. I find it an easy decision right now for my specifics - the relative flatness of the yield curve (as dbr mentions above) combined with modest short-term inflation ...
by DetroitRick
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you choose text or email for two-factor authentication?
Replies: 50
Views: 3279

Re: Would you choose text or email for two-factor authentication?

My preference is text over email 100%. In a practical sense, as opposed to theoretical, it's safe enough for me when combined with the other measures I take. I just don't look at email more than a few times a day, so.... I also have a port out pin with my carrier to prevent my number from being port...
by DetroitRick
Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New issue CD. Mechanics of trading
Replies: 5
Views: 919

Re: New issue CD. Mechanics of trading

I'm doing the same thing - using (U.S.) Treasuries and Cd's out to 2 years. To answer your question, if it's a "brokered" CD, there is no prepayment penalty involved. That's simply because with brokered cd's you instead have to sell them if you need the money before maturity date. If you went direct...