Search found 446 matches

by msk
Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long for hedonic adaptation to set in?
Replies: 109
Views: 6777

Re: How long for hedonic adaptation to set in?

An interesting thread; and one that becomes even more intriguing as you age and look back on your choices at various forks in your life. My retrospective look at age 73: 1. Stay in school as long as possible because school is so much more fun than working. OK, terribly short of $ throughout, but so ...
by msk
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?
Replies: 49
Views: 2538

Re: Annuities - how does insurance company know you died?

At one time I was on the Board of Trustees of a pension fund in a multi-national company. It was routine that all the pension funds in all countries were required to verify that pension recipients were indeed alive, annually. E.g. a form signed by the recipient and co-signed by a bank manager or sim...
by msk
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: You career roots and your path to financial independence. "Actionable: steps and tips for others?
Replies: 56
Views: 5193

Re: Blue collar (or other) roots and your path to financial independence. Steps and tips for others?

Pick the right trade and then get to the high end of your trade. Do not settle for being just a "carpenter" if a fine-cabinet restorer makes 3x (?) as much. Just recently saw on TV that a plumber in London UK can expect to make GBP150k annually, compared to GBP50k for BSc/BEng graduates. What I tell...
by msk
Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: parking the $ to buy a vacation condo
Replies: 10
Views: 1069

Re: parking the $ to buy a vacation condo

I park all my money in the stock market :annoyed The market either goes up or down. Up, I get my vacation house/car/toy for less of my sweat. Down, too bad. Down very far, postpone purchase of the new toy. Since the market goes up far more often than collapses, I stand a very good chance of having d...
by msk
Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long for hedonic adaptation to set in?
Replies: 109
Views: 6777

Re: How long for hedonic adaptation to set in?

- I try to abstain from flying above basic Economy, because I suspect that if I fly something better, it would be difficult to go back. Several months ago, I took a short flight in Business, because I wanted to use points in my British Airways account. Victoria I have decided that at my age (68) I ...
by msk
Sat Oct 14, 2017 11:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Buying, Time to grow up.
Replies: 55
Views: 4394

Re: Car Buying, Time to grow up.

Don't buy (or lease) a car worth more than 6 months income. Just a bit of sanity, even if cars are great toys to you. :mrgreen:
by msk
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How big a portfolio should I have before retiring?
Replies: 52
Views: 6784

Re: How big a portfolio should I have before retiring?

Simple assumptions: All BHs live within their incomes Stock market returns for the past 50 years have been around 5% p.a. in real terms. NW=20x current income is enough. Hence if your NW is 20x your current annual income, you can retire at your current standard of living. Some safety padding such as...
by msk
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: reliable investment calculator with dividends reinvested
Replies: 7
Views: 585

Re: reliable investment calculator with dividends reinvested

I think this is very useful: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/monte-carlo-simulation Issues that remain: dividends reinvested are before tax (makes a huge difference after a decade or two) the history basis used in some of the asset classes can be quite short, say, 30 years but even that does inc...
by msk
Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Third time in my 32 year career I have been laid off
Replies: 87
Views: 10007

Re: Third time in my 32 year career I have been laid off

I see that as one bear market away from losing $500,000. But, I am trapped by two young ones to raise, so 2.6 million doesn’t give me the comfort I need to retire. Decide what NW will make you comfortable, and then save towards it. My target was $2.6 million way back in 1999. $2.6 million NW can co...
by msk
Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you want your receipt?
Replies: 99
Views: 7410

Re: Do you want your receipt?

I always demand a receipt and check them against the monthly statement. How else can you check for fraud accurately? Exactly! I'm shocked anyone would say no. I guess they just pay whatever the cc statement says or the minimum. I get an SMS instantly from my bank whenever someone makes a credit car...
by msk
Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 3x gross income = house purchase price, should interest rate be taken into account?
Replies: 26
Views: 2125

Re: 3x gross income = house purchase price, should interest rate be taken into account?

Purchasing a home, for most people is not a one-off. Life changes, jobs change, etc. Same for cars. Most people upgrade cars throughout their lives. One can do detailed calculations or you can use important rules-of-thumb that have been proven to work, again and again for decades. Listed in order of...
by msk
Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Third time in my 32 year career I have been laid off
Replies: 87
Views: 10007

Re: Third time in my 32 year career I have been laid off

Retirement at 55 is excellent. I did. With reasonable luck you have a good 15 to 20 years with no major health issues and you are still able to travel the world, enjoying whatever hobbies you have. My arithmetic: my preferred investment is 100% stocks ETF, 5% annual withdrawal and I am willing to ta...
by msk
Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for a new role with same employer - salary negotiation
Replies: 15
Views: 1523

Re: Applying for a new role with same employer - salary negotiation

From the bands as described, we had a similar system at my company, and at one time I was head of salaries and career planning. Ideally, with an over-lapping band system as described, the highest flying career path would be always at the bottom end of each band. I.e. say, you joined at the bottom of...
by msk
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Return Assumptions over Next 15 years
Replies: 13
Views: 1102

Re: Return Assumptions over Next 15 years

It's all guesswork anyway, but at least a Monte Carlo simulation would give you a plausible range: https://www.portfoliovisualizer.com/monte-carlo-simulation Personally, I doubt that returns would be as bleak as many seem to expect. Why would anyone keep investing at a 2% real return long term? For ...
by msk
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Negotiating merit scholarships
Replies: 32
Views: 1974

Re: Negotiating merit scholarships

I have recruited a huge number of graduates. My own take for a first-job graduate is the last school he went to. A kid who got his BSc from MIT and his graduate degrees from U of Slippery Rock will not impress me anywhere as much as one who did the reverse, So if the kid is very likely to go on to g...
by msk
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much worth house should one buy?
Replies: 73
Views: 4113

Re: How much worth house should one buy?

My own rules have been (I am now 73 retired at 55) and currently living in an absurdly large, 14,000 sq ft house: Save and invest at least 30% of your income (Income = job income(s) + investment incomes) Never buy a car (or cars) costing more than 6 months income Never buy a house that costs more t...
by msk
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you value your time?
Replies: 97
Views: 3776

Re: How do you value your time?

My effective marginal tax rate is 45%. If I can spend $1 less, it's the equivalent of earning an extra $1.82 (=1/(1-.45)). Don't forget taxes when valuing DIY activities (mowing lawn, paying for parking, making own meals, etc). Unfortunately taxes are the great distortion of modern societies and DI...
by msk
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you value your time?
Replies: 97
Views: 3776

Re: How do you value your time?

Decades ago I consulted a lawyer, and he charged me $250 an hour. I decided that thenceforth I will value my time at the same level. I never did adjust for inflation. Presumably that same lawyer now charges around $500 an hour, but if I need to spend hours chasing something, e.g. an insurance claim ...
by msk
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much worth house should one buy?
Replies: 73
Views: 4113

Re: How much worth house should one buy?

My own rules have been (I am now 73 retired at 55) and currently living in an absurdly large, 14,000 sq ft house: Save and invest at least 30% of your income (Income = job income(s) + investment incomes) Never buy a car (or cars) costing more than 6 months income Never buy a house that costs more th...
by msk
Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?
Replies: 24
Views: 2225

Re: Invest, or Buy a $25,000 Screened-in Deck?

Save and invest 30% of your combined incomes. Do not buy a home that costs more than 3 years' income (2.5 combined income) Do not buy cars that cost more than 6 months income Building up equity in your home counts as savings/investing. Spend the rest. You will be able to retire early AND live your l...
by msk
Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help?! My 70 year old father is 100% invested in equities
Replies: 79
Views: 7285

Re: Help?! My 70 year old father is 100% invested in equities

IMHO the only silly thing your Dad is doing is pay the adviser 1%. I am soon going to be 73, retired since 55, increased my net worth from 7 figures to 8 figures since retirement by being 100% in stocks. If your Dad withdraws 3% from his portfolio and that silly 1% fee (=4%!), AND he can comfortably...
by msk
Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calling out the not so rich bogleheads
Replies: 233
Views: 25203

Re: Calling out the not so rich bogleheads

I suspect that a huge majority of BHs had, like myself a NW of around zero at age 30. Many (most?) do get to 7 figures by retirement age. Not much to get worried about at age 35 if your NW is still zero, but you HAVE to get started with saving and investing asap. Then, No Worry! I am now well into r...
by msk
Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Grad Student in UK, Australia, USA, Taxes, Green Card?
Replies: 6
Views: 469

Re: Foreign Grad Student in UK, Australia, USA, Taxes, Green Card?

Thanks for the UK angle. If either goes to study in the UK he/she will be treated as a normal UK citizen (with standard UK passport). I'll have to remind him/her about applying for National Insurance Number. They do not satisfy the 3-year minimal residence requirement (anywhere in the EU) when it co...
by msk
Fri Sep 15, 2017 10:14 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Grad Student in UK, Australia, USA, Taxes, Green Card?
Replies: 6
Views: 469

Re: Foreign Grad Student in UK, Australia, USA, Taxes, Green Card?

Thank you both for alleviating my unwarranted worries. Now these kids can go forth and play (if scientific research is not a play hobby I do not know what is...) wherever fancy takes them. Looks like one is heading for Australia and the other leaning ever more towards California. Just complicates ou...
by msk
Thu Sep 14, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers
Replies: 38
Views: 3527

Re: US removing Kaspersky Antivirus from government computers

Sad. Now the billion+ Chinese (and the billion+ Indians?) should drop Windows and iOS because they are American? Or do you guys really feel that the Chinese are incapable of writing an operating system? Personally the viruses I got were before I realized that Windows Defender comes for free and work...
by msk
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign Grad Student in UK, Australia, USA, Taxes, Green Card?
Replies: 6
Views: 469

Foreign Grad Student in UK, Australia, USA, Taxes, Green Card?

My kids are Citizens-of-the World, born and raised all over, and my youngest two have inherited 4 nationalities (Canada, UK, a tax-free country, a taxable not-so-nice country). Brexit limits their EU credentials :annoyed Anyway these two youngest are keen to proceed to grad studies next summer/fall,...
by msk
Wed Sep 13, 2017 12:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: adapt portfolios to european investor
Replies: 54
Views: 2933

Re: adapt portfolios to european investor

I have no hesitation in giving advice to my heirs :mrgreen: Unfortunately they live in different countries and tax jurisdictions, but in brief, and mainly as supplementary to their job-income: 100% stocks worldwide. US-based? go for VT (Vanguard Total World), No-tax countries: 90% IWDA + 10% EIMI (b...
by msk
Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New or used Lexus ES300h?
Replies: 25
Views: 2375

Re: New or used Lexus ES300h?

I have a Lexus LS460, 10-years old, my wife a Lexus ES350, 4 years old. We both do low mileage, around 12k p.a. each. Both have been totally reliable, including all the electronics (the LS460 came truly loaded) but I am changing out mine because it has a black interior and the vinyl parts (it's most...
by msk
Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Assets tangled with in laws, how to minimize future liabilities
Replies: 26
Views: 1473

Re: Assets tangled with in laws, how to minimize future liabilities

This is where cultures clash. IMHO expect that your husband is going to support his parents financially down to his last penny, even if you and your children end up at pauper level. Sounds as if his parents are not able to cope currently at the support level they are receiving, and maybe they are ju...
by msk
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: adapt portfolios to european investor
Replies: 54
Views: 2933

Re: adapt portfolios to european investor

Another popular portfolio is: 10% iShares Core MSCI Emerging Markets IMI UCITS ETF (TER:0,25%), EIMI 90% iShares Core MSCI World UCITS ETF (TER:0,20%), IWDA +1 You are investing for a long time, 50+ years. We have no clue which economies will flourish and which will peter out; ditto for currencies....
by msk
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you do in slow travels?
Replies: 55
Views: 4282

Re: What do you do in slow travels?

I think the OP is not ready for slow travel, yet. My 19 year-old daughter has just spent 41 days travelling through Indo China, including Siem Reap, but it certainly was not slow travel! They must have visited more than 15 different locations, including Hue and Yangon, by air, train, bus and boat. T...
by msk
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Revise Allocation over 20 Yr Period?
Replies: 9
Views: 833

Re: Should I Revise Allocation over 20 Yr Period?

I am soon to be 73, retired for 18 years, living mainly within a COLA pension. My 2 youngest kids at college are the only withdrawals from my portfolio. I am 100% in stocks, worldwide to maximize the inheritance and charitable donations. Any emergencies can be instantly funded by margin loans. I see...
by msk
Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6441

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

The other day I made a nasty remark about absurdly high priced silk scarves, and all my sisters shouted me down and told me to go waste my $ on cars :shock: I have always felt that life should be lived to the full, within reason. If you drop dead at 45 your peers should be able to say at least he ma...
by msk
Sat Sep 09, 2017 10:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6441

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

but be mindful to set aside $3k annually for routine maintenance, e.g. a set of tires costing north of $5k... Maybe we should define luxury car. I do not know any mainstream luxury car that needs 3k annual maintenance and 5k sets of tires. Yeah BMW's have $1k hoods because each time you open it at ...
by msk
Sat Sep 09, 2017 7:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car: perception vs reality
Replies: 118
Views: 6441

Re: Luxury car: perception vs reality

My rule-of-thumb for the past 50 years has been, Never Buy a Car Costing More Than 6 Months Income. By that rule, I suspect that most luxury cars are owned/leased by people spending above their means. Even a plebeian $100k new top Lexus sedan requires an income greater than $200k. And see how many M...
by msk
Fri Sep 08, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing Home With Girlfriend; Good or Bad?
Replies: 68
Views: 5657

Re: Purchasing Home With Girlfriend; Good or Bad?

Me thinks girl wants to get married, boy does not. House purchase is by far a smaller problem :confused
by msk
Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: FIL bought house on retaining wall hillside, questions on wall
Replies: 15
Views: 1751

Re: FIL bought house on retaining wall hillside, questions on wall

When such landslides happen, they are almost always all-of-a-sudden :annoyed He needs a review by a qualified and licensed structural civil engineer. It can always be fixed. The only question is the cost. A heavy reinforced concrete wall will hold back almost anything. But it may also cost more than...
by msk
Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to decide if there is enough retirement income accrued to start retirement
Replies: 12
Views: 1900

Re: How to decide if there is enough retirement income accrued to start retirement

I wouldn't bother projecting expenses. Check how much income they made in each of the last two years and verify how much they actually saved. Do not make exceptions for extraordinary expenses on, e.g. a new car or a new HVAC. If such actually occurred then extend the history to 3 or 4 years. Extraor...
by msk
Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Irrational fears?
Replies: 23
Views: 1861

Re: Irrational fears?

This actually happened to me. Asked my local bank branch (abroad) to wire transfer $140k to my TDAmeritrade brokerage account. Normally I see my new balance there the next day, sometimes on the same day. Nothing! TDAmeritrade claimed to know nothing about it even after a week. Asked me to trace thro...
by msk
Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do retiree BHs actually run down their portfolios?
Replies: 73
Views: 8211

Re: Do retiree BHs actually run down their portfolios?

"We are both 72 years old with health issues, ..." You mean there are some 72-year oldies with no health issues? Cheer up. You are in good company! I know and meet regularly a huge bunch of friends around that age, and we ALL have health issues :beer The strange thing is how wide a variety of diseas...
by msk
Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do retiree BHs actually run down their portfolios?
Replies: 73
Views: 8211

Re: Do retiree BHs actually run down their portfolios?

So, 4% is a safe withdrawal rate but 5% is insane reckless folly? I don't believe I follow that logic very well. Huh? It's not logic, it's math. 5% is 25% more than 4%, that is a large increase in spending. Many periods would cause your portfolio to drop off the cliff before the often cited 30 yr r...
by msk
Tue Sep 05, 2017 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do retiree BHs actually run down their portfolios?
Replies: 73
Views: 8211

Do retiree BHs actually run down their portfolios?

I am a retiree, genetically programmed to be a frugal spender and a BH. I read about all these Withdrawal Rates, etc. But, frankly, do real-life BH retirees ever have declining portfolios? Let's face it, any market decline will be followed up immediately by a tightening up of the WR. Even an annual ...
by msk
Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 2888

Re: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?

Im looking at preowned german sports coupes currently. Any experience? Not sure whether these count as sports coupes in your view, but I have owned a Mercedes 500SEC and a BMW 850i from new when they were first released (had to be on pre-order even) and a used, very low mileage Porsche 928S. All ea...
by msk
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?
Replies: 41
Views: 2888

Re: Are you a "car guy" or "car gal", how do you fund?

I feel that a hobby should not be a financial drain. Yes, you can go into high end equipment for the hobby, be it boating, cars or photography, but IMHO it must not get to the point that you have to finance the hobby item. I.e. if you ever plan to become FI reasonably early, say, in your fifties. I ...
by msk
Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences
Replies: 108
Views: 16468

Re: Becoming a Landlord: My Experiences

Excellent post! But there is one sure way of both acquiring knowledge in the buildings trades and acquiring buildings at a 20% (or more) discount. Build your own :mrgreen: How I spent my late 20s to my 40s: Got a plot of land, built my own house using a contractor. The design phase taught me what ma...
by msk
Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments
Replies: 62
Views: 6410

Re: The "interest rates are so low....why would you"arguments

One popular religious belief says never borrow to invest. Not paying off a 3.5% loan while investing in an etf hoping for better than 3.5% is quite similar to investing using margin (last time I looked Interactive Brokers were charging less than 2.7% on margin loans). Unfortunately this approach of ...
by msk
Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does anyone use Driving Shoes?
Replies: 40
Views: 4039

Re: Does anyone use Driving Shoes?

Try to avoid flipflops for driving. During my big corp worker days I had a fleet of 2000+ cars and trucks in my remit and we had a couple of nasty truck accidents caused by flipflops getting caught under some pedal or other. From that time on we banned all driving while wearing flipflops. They are d...
by msk
Fri Sep 01, 2017 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Flying business class with kids (TATL)
Replies: 24
Views: 1435

Re: Flying business class with kids (TATL)

I used to fly Business or First only on business trips and Economy with the full family when the kids were small. But we did take the nanny with us all over the world. Nanny coming along for the full vacation was far more important than hours of sleep on planes. Now the kids are fully grown, and fol...
by msk
Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for some feedback on finances/planned home purchase.
Replies: 9
Views: 727

Re: Looking for some feedback on finances/planned home purchase.

I prefer keeping things simple. In my younger days I was given the following advice and I would repeat the same to my grown up kids: Save 30% of your income. Less and you'll be deferring Financial Independence into old age, more and you are not spending enough on luxuries and YOLO (you only live onc...
by msk
Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ethereum (cryptocurrency) flash crash, 6/21/2017, $339->$0.10 in "seconds"
Replies: 30
Views: 4706

Re: Ethereum (cryptocurrency) flash crash, 6/21/2017, $339->$0.10 in "seconds"

I forget all the precise details but I did get caught in the Flash Crash of 2015(?). My holdings were mainly SPY and Berkshire Hathaway plus a sprinkling of individual stocks. A few days prior my darling daughter insisted that the market is insanely high and is bound to crash forthwith. She went int...