Search found 221 matches

by ReadyOrNot
Mon May 20, 2019 11:53 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: completely freaked out about withdrawing from retirement accounts....
Replies: 44
Views: 3573

Re: completely freaked out about withdrawing from retirement accounts....

Seems like if you get at least 2% a year in interest, dividends, and capital gains, you can spend that plus your pension to meet your costs, without selling anything. I think most people would be satisfied with that.
by ReadyOrNot
Tue May 14, 2019 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Regulate Office Temperature
Replies: 31
Views: 2187

Re: Regulate Office Temperature

Why not a fan? There are plenty of small, quiet, effective ones; could plug into USB port, etc. Your computer probably already runs a noisier fan. Otherwise, if you have an office refrigerator or water cooler, you could keep a cold water bottle around to cool your hands on or maybe an ice pack. Fan ...
by ReadyOrNot
Fri May 10, 2019 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I will inherit 2Mil What to do with it?
Replies: 54
Views: 8042

Re: I will inherit 2Mil What to do with it?

Take your time to figure out what to do with it. It seems safe enough where it is at Vanguard for now. It sounds like you could spend $70k to $80k a year from it for the rest of your life. Or make the transition you planned and maybe spend a little more. It probably won't t make much difference to y...
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Apr 23, 2019 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Single Family House - aging in place challenges
Replies: 47
Views: 2635

Re: Single Family House - aging in place challenges

Do you have a garage entrance with fewer or no steps? If not, could you install one? (Or whatever houses in your neighborhood use to get between the car and house.)
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Priority Express 1-Day might in effect by a 2-Day service?
Replies: 10
Views: 594

Re: Priority Express 1-Day might in effect by a 2-Day service?

If the Post Office tells you it will take 2 days when you mail it, that is all you get for your money. I found out when mailing a proposal to a federal government address that a lot of ordinary zip codes take 2 days.
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Apr 17, 2019 4:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does the stock market go up in the long term?
Replies: 62
Views: 4604

Re: Why does the stock market go up in the long term?

Ultimately, you are depending on the active investors to make good decisions over the long run. If they are rational, they will only invest if they expect to make money in the future from their investment. So you depend on them to set the market price about right so they, and you, will get growth an...
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Apr 12, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investing gift from grandma
Replies: 46
Views: 3249

Re: Investing gift from grandma

I don't get it. Why would she be offended if you choose to get a mutual fund? You aren't rejecting a choice she made. Can't you just say you don't want to avoid big mistakes, don't want to stress over it, and think taking an average result is fine? And this is the second child, so it's like figuring...
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Socially Responsible [Investing]
Replies: 58
Views: 3661

Re: Socially Responsible

Why should socially responsible companies be expected to do worse? I doubt there could be much data showing that. Even if some funds do worse, it is hard to say if it was because of such a vaguely defined factor. I think in general, ethical companies are better-managed than unethical ones, and may d...
by ReadyOrNot
Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you buy a new car with a cashiers check without unfreezing a credit freeze?
Replies: 68
Views: 4158

Re: Can you buy a new car with a cashiers check without unfreezing a credit freeze?

It's really up to the dealer. They don't need your social security number or a credit check. But if they insist on it, are you ready to walk away?
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Mar 27, 2019 3:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Occupation on tax return
Replies: 25
Views: 3060

Occupation on tax return

Does the IRS want to know the source of my income? I guess in years where more comes from pensions or Social Security I could say Retired. In good years for investments, I could say Investor. But can passive investing really be an occupation? I don't remember if I left the occupation blank when I wa...
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Feb 24, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone had trouble getting an online credit report?
Replies: 10
Views: 577

Re: Has anyone had trouble getting an online credit report?

I seemed to have a lot of trouble verifying my address. As far as I could tell, the credit reports often used "Apt" or # or a space differently than what I input, and automatically rejected it.
The phone call worked, but sometimes a long wait.
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Feb 24, 2019 3:38 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I'm essentially market timing, but can't bring myself to stop.
Replies: 71
Views: 6777

Re: I'm essentially market timing, but can't bring myself to stop.

It doesn't seem so bad. Just be realistic. If you count your cash as part of your bond allocation, you are pretty close to your age in bonds. If you are conservative, that is OK.
And if your are gradually converting the stock to a broad based index fund as fast as your wife allows, that's not so bad.
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Feb 24, 2019 2:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS
Replies: 52
Views: 3392

Re: Best way to ensure USPS mailed tax return makes it to IRS

Second the recommendation for e-filing with Free File Fillable Forms. In 2013 I had to file a state form too complicated for the state e-file. At that time, certified mail did not require the recipient's signature, but registered mail did. The state PO Box could not provide a signature, so I sent by...
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why doesn't the US government sell additional Social Security?
Replies: 23
Views: 2021

Re: Why doesn't the US government sell additional Social Security?

The Social Security system does not invest what is paid into the system to get what it pays out. It wouldn't be able to pay out as much as an organization which does. When people criticize it as an unsustainable Ponzi scheme, what they mean is that it makes payments out of the funds it receives, wit...
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long does lunch meat last?
Replies: 44
Views: 3715

Re: How long does lunch meat last?

It varies. I think you can get it cured with enough carcinogenic nitrate and nitrite to make it last months or years, like jerky. Or even Spam in a can. And as already pointed out, don't some salami's last without refrigeration? I have seen a lot of cured meats sold in ethnic markets with no refrige...
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Jan 27, 2019 5:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Switching from Accumulating to Drawing
Replies: 24
Views: 2386

Re: Switching from Accumulating to Drawing

My small Megacorp pension came in confusing pieces, so the projected amounts were confusing. I only realized as I retired that it would be enough to cover my basic living expenses. That changed my thinking completely. I had planned to delay the pension payout to get a higher monthly payment and esti...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Jan 24, 2019 2:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Warren Buffett] Why Long-term stocks vs Index funds ?
Replies: 54
Views: 4092

Re: [Warren Buffett] Why Long-term stocks vs Index funds ?

Warren Buffett is really smart and works hard to find investments which he thinks are better than index funds. He does not think most investors including the trustees for his heirs can get such good results, so he recommends the low-cost index fund approach for almost everyone else (not himself). Pe...
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Jan 20, 2019 3:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is index investing better than other quantitative strategies?
Replies: 38
Views: 3711

Re: Why is index investing better than other quantitative strategies?

I think it would be hard to prove that an index fund should be best. Empirically, most strategies do not beat the average. And simple and low-cost strategies to approximate the market cap average are known and effective (or the obvious approximation methods work pretty well)..
by ReadyOrNot
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is using an Asset Allocation Mental Accounting?
Replies: 46
Views: 2191

Re: Is using an Asset Allocation Mental Accounting?

The customary usage has become Asset Allocation in percentages. Then every other way of thinking of the allocations, such as thinking of your allocations as buckets of various needed amounts, has been labeled mental accounting.
by ReadyOrNot
Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paying (paper) cash for daily transactions
Replies: 83
Views: 3845

Re: Paying (paper) cash for daily transactions

I don't consume much, so my experience is not typical. Cash is pretty convenient for my everyday uses. I generally use the self-checkout machines at my favorite grocery stores. I recently found out that those machines will accept and give change for $100 bills. They had previously noted taking up to...
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership
Replies: 107
Views: 7630

Re: Nice jeans for work with lowest average cost of ownership

If low cost is what you want, generic Dockers-style with high polyester content are the cheapest, last years longer than you would want, and are generally accepted as appropriate-looking for engineers. I never considered them comfortable enough or safe enough for working with electrostatic-sensitive...
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Dec 25, 2018 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth year
Replies: 6
Views: 549

Re: Roth year

Usually you have until the tax filing day around April 15.
At most places (like Vanguard or Fidelity) you must specify which tax year you want the contribution for, resolving the ambiguity between Jan 1 and Apr 15, when you could contribute for either tax year.
by ReadyOrNot
Mon Dec 24, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for "Little Old Lady" revised
Replies: 21
Views: 2678

Re: Advice for "Little Old Lady" revised

I don't want to make any offensive assumptions, but at that level of income, you should be eligible for many forms of government assistance. (And depending on the amount of dividends, you could be near the income borderline for some.) Many do not have limitations on assets, some do. You probably are...
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 80
Views: 5618

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

I did not remember the label correctly. It must have referred to "regular Charmin" rolls. A Google search on Charmin regular roll reveals pictures of such things, with 71 or 72 sheets. (I didn't want to click on any of the links.) So they must have existed at one time, maybe not anymore.
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 80
Views: 5618

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

I finally read a Charmin label. They did put an asterisk * on their claim, referencing a note that they are comparing to a "standard Charmin roll". (I wonder if any store would sell standard Charmin rolls. Maybe they could use them as a trial sample size.) They can define it any way they want. Like ...
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Dec 14, 2018 2:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?
Replies: 80
Views: 5618

Re: A "super mega roll" of toilet paper = 6 "regular rolls:" is this possible?

I was actually looking for the best toilet paper compromise available since getting irritated by flimsy paper not tearing at perforations. The cheapest Wal-mart 2-ply rolls have 150 sheets per roll. There are rolls available with 1000 sheets per roll. That could legitimately be called 6x. "Double" r...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Dec 13, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [How much of an emergency fund do I need?]
Replies: 17
Views: 1127

Re: How badly will unemployment be during next recession?

As already said, depends on lots of stuff. Lots of people over 50 lost nice jobs in the Great Recession and never made it back to >80% of their previous salary. Many retired before they expected to. If they were over-prepared, that may have worked out. In that case, total savings including retiremen...
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Dec 12, 2018 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Early retirement mistakes???
Replies: 37
Views: 6503

Re: Early retirement mistakes???

I didn't know about Medicare IRMAA, but also didn't really know much about Medicare costs. I just assumed they would be insignificant. Also, I just maxed out contributions to my 401k while working -- in retrospect, this is not optimal, but not a huge deal -- I probably will have to pay more tax and ...
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody Taking Equifax Offer for Free IDNotify Service?
Replies: 13
Views: 5163

Re: Anybody Taking Equifax Offer for Free IDNotify Service?

Is there a way to take the free offer without clicking on a link in an email?
by ReadyOrNot
Mon Dec 10, 2018 2:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Equifax Data Breach
Replies: 10
Views: 1439

Re: Equifax Data Breach

Is there some way to determine if this is legitimate and to reply to a legitimate site without clicking on a link in an email supposedly sent by these people?
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: are pre-fabricated / manufactured homes a bad investment?
Replies: 99
Views: 7281

Re: are pre-fabricated homes a bad investment?

There are a full spectrum, not necessarily bad. On the west coast, there are places where you can own the land and have a manufactured house on it. The older ones seem to be priced similar to cheap houses in the area -- if buildable lots had appreciated in value, these places had similar value.
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401k to Roth rollover or conversion?
Replies: 7
Views: 540

401k to Roth rollover or conversion?

My 401k allows in-plan conversions from non-Roth to Roth 401k. I am over 60 and retired. So I could also roll over any 401k assets to a Roth IRA. Either the in-plan Roth conversion or the roll-over to Roth IRA seem to have similar future tax-saving at the cost of paying income tax now. The in-plan c...
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop
Replies: 17
Views: 1354

Re: Streaming over-the-air TV on a laptop

I was walking around a Fry's Electronics store and saw some USB digital TV tuners and TV tuner boards, but for reasons I don't remember, bought a small 7" screen stand-alone portable over-the-air digital TV instead, at the same store. I must have thought it was more convenient or cost-effective. You...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement planning--how many years of cash equiv should I aim to have?
Replies: 16
Views: 2454

Re: Retirement planning--how many years of cash equiv should I aim to have?

It really depends on the amount of assets, your asset allocation, and how well you tolerate market downturns. If your all stock market investment is worth 60 times your annual investment income need, and you can calmly stay invested when it drops to 30 times your annual investment need, and you only...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Southern California Vacation Questions
Replies: 39
Views: 2151

Re: Southern California Vacation Questions

If you like art museums, consider the impressive old school art collections of the Hammer museum in Westwood and the Norton Simon museum and Huntington library and museum in Pasadena if you will be in the vicinity anyway. I guess UCLA is as good as any enormous university. It is hard to get a feel f...
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Early Retirement Make You Live Longer?
Replies: 70
Views: 4892

Re: Does Early Retirement Make You Live Longer?

That "data" is completely bogus. It periodically pops up, particularly among potential Boeing retirees. It is extremely old, mentioning some Boeing anachronisms from the 1960s, and the "statistics" didn't make sense even then. The lifespan of Boeing retirees was never worse than the average American...
by ReadyOrNot
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA
Replies: 40
Views: 3300

Re: Can you suggest where to live if work at UCLA

I am mystified how anyone who works for a living could afford to buy a house near UCLA. Anyway, renting first is a good idea to become familiar with the area. Surely their recruitment or employment info packet includes some helpful information. The student housing office has informative neighborhood...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?
Replies: 14
Views: 1032

Re: Where can I go to print a very high-quality book?

I don't know if universities still keep printed versions either, but when they did, they generally all had a printing service which could handle the printing and binding of archival copies of theses and dissertations. I don't remember the details, because they could take care of all the details. I t...
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Nov 04, 2018 2:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: AA with Bonds & Defined Benefit Pension(s)
Replies: 10
Views: 841

Re: AA with Bonds & Defined Benefit Pension(s)

Most people worry more about what rate they can safely withdraw and if it is enough to cover their expenses. But if your pension will cover your expenses, you don't have to worry about it at all. So you should be able to use any asset allocation with minimal worry. Just make it whatever will allow y...
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Calculating ROI for PhD
Replies: 86
Views: 5002

Re: Calculating ROI for PhD

When I went back full-time for a PhD, I knew it didn't make sense financially. But I figured I would never be satisfied if I didn't go for it. Also I actually wanted to do research and teach. As it turned out, I never did get into teaching or research, and it took me excessive years to finish.(Also ...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: In retirement, when do you stop withdrawing from stocks in a downturn?
Replies: 141
Views: 9643

Re: In retirement, when do you stop withdrawing from stocks in a downturn?

Perhaps it would ease your mind if you pictured the sequence as: Withdraw what you need from your most cash-like liquid asset. Then re-balance your assets to the desired allocation. Now instead of this, you can calculate what would have been the equivalent total changes, and make those in one step i...
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: "The market always comes back"
Replies: 20
Views: 4164

Re: "The market always comes back"

Isn't this concern mostly what the "age in bonds" suggested guideline (and its variations) supposed to address? You may not agree with "age in bonds", but at least it should make you consider something like it to adapt to the time you have.
by ReadyOrNot
Tue Oct 23, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So...what’s Plan B [for your retirement security]?
Replies: 32
Views: 3608

Re: So...what’s Plan B [for your retirement security]?

I think the question was what to do if the 4% rule (or something close to it) failed. I think I do not depend on a rule like that. I should be able to live on my meager Social Security. So everything else is for extras. If I lose everything, I would have to do without any extras. If expenses blew up...
by ReadyOrNot
Mon Oct 15, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocation to California
Replies: 49
Views: 4454

Re: Relocation to California

Previous advice to rent in person is good. Lots of good and bad neighborhoods mixed together, and extreme trade-off in traffic and commute time vs. good or affordable neighborhoods. You have to be there to experience it to understand what will work for you.
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Oct 12, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?
Replies: 49
Views: 3588

Re: Lost Power for 24 hours - what food to toss?

I thought if you did not open your refrigerator or freezer doors, most refrigerators were supposed to keep the food cold for 24 hrs. I guess you should be able to tell if your frozen food thawed or not.
by ReadyOrNot
Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it
Replies: 61
Views: 8162

Re: Someone stole my check from the mail, changed the amount, and deposited it

Some pens are sold as particularly good for signing documents because their ink is supposed to be resistant to washing from paper fibers. Some of them may have gel ink. But not all gel inks are permanent.
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Out of network care
Replies: 96
Views: 7449

Re: Out of network care

Basically Kaiser only gives (and covers) care through its own network except for emergencies. You can ask them if they have anything in an area you intend to visit. Before Group Health became part of Kaiser they were similar. They did have some kind of arrangement with Kaiser so if you happened to b...
by ReadyOrNot
Fri Sep 21, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: For those who use a 2 year cash(like) buffer, how do you know when to use it?
Replies: 67
Views: 5761

Re: For those who use a 2 year cash(like) buffer, how do you know when to use it?

I think you got it.
The usual method is the cash is part of the asset allocation. It's the most liquid part, so it is natural to spend from it. Then it can be replenished with rebalancing. Or maybe it didn't need replenishing if all other assets were reduced more.
by ReadyOrNot
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Am I "buying high" if I transfer stable value funds over to stock index fund now?
Replies: 26
Views: 2057

Re: Am I "buying high" if I transfer stable value funds over to stock index fund now?

It's no big deal that you sat out of the markets for a few months during a turbulent time in your financial life. If you had a sudden windfall it would have been considered fine. You missed a few months of whatever happened in the market, but you made no big mistakes and had no losses. Now you have ...
by ReadyOrNot
Thu Sep 06, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax-exempt interest to reduce IRMAA?
Replies: 15
Views: 1018

Tax-exempt interest to reduce IRMAA?

I always just tried to maximize interest income and just paid the income tax, so I am not familiar with tax-exempt interest. But now that I am aware of higher Medicare IRMAA with higher income, it may just be simpler to try to minimize the federal taxes and IRMAA. If I just move most of my taxable s...