Search found 165 matches

by TierArtz
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's your cash position
Replies: 110
Views: 13019

Re: What's your cash position

I'm low on cash (0.6% of portfolio including checking, savings, taxable money market, and subtracting credit card balance) due to funding two IRAs three weeks ago and upping deferred compensation to 15%. Figuring out how much cash I should hold is one of my goals. New for 2019, I'm planning on leavi...
by TierArtz
Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Military Paying down Mortgage Early
Replies: 16
Views: 740

Re: Military Home Purchase

I'm retired military and always maxed out retirement accounts (TSP and IRAs) during 20 years of active duty before saving anything in taxable, but the TSP was not available for the vast majority of my career. My family either lived in military housing, or rented overseas, so we were not tempted to b...
by TierArtz
Sat Jan 19, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)
Replies: 116
Views: 11767

Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

I was lovingly raised in a humble home which is the greatest earthly gift! I also received an occasional $50 or so while in college. Scholarships, stocking shelves, and weekend drill pay paid for seven years of college. DW received about $32k from grandparents. I received farmland (1/2 interest in a...
by TierArtz
Thu Jan 17, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle has died at age 89
Replies: 851
Views: 44234

Re: John Bogle has died at age 89

I'll miss his wisdom and am thankful for what he did to/for the investment community, especially for "little" folks like me.

From what I've researched about John/Jack he'll not be resting in peace (no such thing), but, instead, praising his Maker and receiving rewards.
by TierArtz
Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with experience with Carmax?
Replies: 74
Views: 23704

Re: Anyone with experience with Carmax?

My only experience is selling them a Saab that I perceived was soon to need another clutch replacement. The offer and sales process went quickly and I recall being offered a fair price based on what I knew about the vehicle (excellent aesthetic condition, low mileage, and crappy clutch).
by TierArtz
Tue Jan 15, 2019 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing a trustee
Replies: 46
Views: 3272

Re: Choosing a trustee

The DW and I are an odd couple in that we are mid to late 50s, yet have three elementary/middle-school children. We established a trust with Vanguard National Trust Company. I suggest the guardian and trustee be separate and a trust specify in general terms how funds can be withdrawn to support the ...
by TierArtz
Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: BHers, what is your Roth IRA %?
Replies: 113
Views: 5266

Re: BHers, what is your Roth IRA %?

Roth: 38%
Tax deferred: 19%
Taxable, including a bit of tax free bonds: 43%

We have no tIRA balance and will backdoor fund the Roths until retirement in early 60s (roughly 5 years from now). Roughly 50K per year will flow into tax deferred and into taxable, so the Roth percentage will shrink.
by TierArtz
Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Serovital- ????
Replies: 18
Views: 1006

Re: Serovital- ????

I try to base all my thoughts and actions, including taking or passing on nutritional supplements, on data.

Surfing BH has drawn me away from another favorite website: Quackwatch; their MD author provides information on HGH supplements: https://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRe ... s/hgh.html
by TierArtz
Wed Jan 09, 2019 1:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for a 9mm handgun
Replies: 171
Views: 12658

Re: Recommendations for a 9mm handgun

This may be the longest running post ever with no further clarification from the OP! As stated by others, a proper recommendation would be based on the intended use/need. That said, here are my recommendations/personal handguns for various uses: Concealed carry: Ruger LCP in .380; Glock 43 in 9mm Ta...
by TierArtz
Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Military Retirement = Treasury Inflation Protected Security (TIPS)? Does this change the way I allocate?
Replies: 20
Views: 1341

Re: Military Retirement = Treasury Inflation Protected Security (TIPS)? Does this change the way I allocate?

Congratulations! I retired in 2007 after serving for 23 years and am roughly 10 years older than you. At the time, I had roughly a 95/5 portfolio and both learned that I should have had more bonds and enjoyed stocks being on sale over the next two years. Thankfully, my post-military employment and p...
by TierArtz
Mon Jan 07, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members
Replies: 89
Views: 7219

Re: Child # 3 - seeking advice from older members

The DW and I had our three kids when I was 44, 47, and 49; she is only 3.5 years younger than I. All babies were planned and none are regretted. Our ages seemed to have made three the limit. Thankfully, we were well prepared for kids financially and emotionally and don't think we would have been bet...
by TierArtz
Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ESPP - Should I or shouldn't I?
Replies: 30
Views: 1263

Re: ESPP - Should I or shouldn't I?

+1 on maxing 401K and an IRA first. Downward variation in company stock price can easily wipe out the discount - happened to me in the last year.
by TierArtz
Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2019 Roth all at once or over time.
Replies: 19
Views: 1428

Re: 2019 Roth all at once or over time.

Invest now. I wonder if Vanguard will convert the bond fund shares you have now to Admiral class, as Total Bond was one of the funds that now has a $3k entry point? Check on-line to see if they have taken care of it; if not, I suggest pointing it out to them. Unless one chases savings account rates ...
by TierArtz
Sat Jan 05, 2019 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vanguard Statements - Print or Electronic
Replies: 47
Views: 2694

Re: Vanguard Statements - Print or Electronic

I don't save the ones mailed to me, print off of the website, or download them. I should probably start doing the latter.
by TierArtz
Fri Jan 04, 2019 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?
Replies: 158
Views: 8252

Re: What Do You Spend The Most On Annually?

Five year average for family of 5 with three youngish kids (excluding taxes): 1. Food; 16% 2. Home maintenance (including new roof); 13% 3. Mortgage; 12% 4. Entertainment (travel); 8% 5. Utilities; 8% 6. Insurance (Health, Auto, Home); 7% 7. Auto (all vehicle costs); 6% 8. Sporting goods (mainly air...
by TierArtz
Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will you contribute the max to your IRA and then invest it all in equities for the first market day of the new year?
Replies: 159
Views: 7747

Re: Will you contribute the max to your IRA and then invest it all in equities for the first market day of the new year?

I'm still stuck in credit/settlement fund/Prime MM backdoor process limbo at VG. Due to market movements, it looks like that might work out OK :)
by TierArtz
Thu Jan 03, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Sudden Needs of Cash Do You Prepare For?
Replies: 64
Views: 3602

Re: What Sudden Needs of Cash Do You Prepare For?

I'm hoping $10K in savings would cover anything of a sudden nature. Other than saving for a car replacement 14 years ago, I've never saved cash for any purpose other than the following year's IRA. This year, I'm going to save any cash beyond that flowing into 401K, NQ-DCP, and ESPP into VG Prime Mon...
by TierArtz
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tithing by Proxy (Legal Tax Avoidance?)
Replies: 32
Views: 1612

Re: Tithing by Proxy (Legal Tax Avoidance?)

I tithe on net income (calculation is complicated by lots of variables, including the deduction on charitable giving) and noted that a significant slice of the taxable benefit tithing offered in the past would be lost due to the new tax laws. I'm avoiding that by opening and funding a donor advised ...
by TierArtz
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will you contribute the max to your IRA and then invest it all in equities for the first market day of the new year?
Replies: 159
Views: 7747

Re: Will you contribute the max to your IRA and then invest it all in equities for the first market day of the new year?

I will try to. Today, 01 January, Vanguard's website let me move $7,000 (out of $14,004.28) from the settlement fund in the family taxable brokerage account to my empty tIRA brokerage account. I plan on converting those settlement funds and a few cents of dividend from last year for VTSAX into my Ro...
by TierArtz
Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: First time to do backdoor Roth...
Replies: 3
Views: 256

Re: First time to do backdoor Roth...

I've funded a Roth IRA via the backdoor for years. It will be seamless irrespective of the fund choices you make on each side of the conversion. In my experience, the market makes large moves right after I fund the traditional IRA and I either have to pay tax on $150ish dollars x 2 when filing in a ...
by TierArtz
Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Share your net worth progression
Replies: 903
Views: 232969

Re: What is your Year 2018 networth change?

I'm down about 2.75%. Would have been worse if not for home equity growth and investing 102K more.
by TierArtz
Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Rate of Return 10 years 12/01/2008 - 12/26/2018
Replies: 7
Views: 1508

Re: Vanguard Personal Rate of Return 10 years 12/01/2008 - 12/26/2018

My take on it is the same as your's. Vanguard has a page that explains it: https://personal.vanguard.com/us/content/MyPortfolio/performance/LMperfSummaryInfoContent.jsp You win; mine was 7.5%, 6.6%, and -0.6%, respectively. A footnote at the bottom of the personal performance page says as of 11/30/2...
by TierArtz
Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Additional Investments outside of TSP
Replies: 6
Views: 310

Re: Additional Investments outside of TSP

I suggest having your entire bond allocation (based on age and risk tolerance) be in the TSP G Fund. Like others have stated, an IRA is a no-brainier. To keep things as simple as possible, and bonds out of an IRA, I suggest a total stock market fund for the IRA (spousal,too, if applicable). Then see...
by TierArtz
Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What’s your TLH Strategy [Tax Loss Harvest]
Replies: 42
Views: 2660

Re: What’s your TLH Strategy [Tax Loss Harvest]

I'm new to TLH. I'm more willing to have a portion of my portfolio in cash (even after 26 Dec) than I am to return to a complicated portfolio with similar partners for every fund. I'll either exchange the value of shares with short term losses for an asset class that needs fed or move that small fra...
by TierArtz
Wed Dec 26, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who's buying today? where's all the "dry powder" folks at? :)
Replies: 248
Views: 21023

Re: Whose buying today? where's all the "dry powder" folks at? :)

In IRAs, moving all the 4th quarter distribution settlement fund cash to VTSAX. In taxable, exchanging about 20K of VTIAX for VG Tax Managed Small Cap to TLH for the third time this year, reduce international by a bit, and move toward market cap-weight in US stock (been buying lots of Fido S&P 500 i...
by TierArtz
Mon Dec 24, 2018 1:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your best investment in 2018?
Replies: 127
Views: 7245

Re: What was your best investment in 2018?

The TSP G-Fund is the only investment up for the year. I wish the DW and my federal careers had allowed more time for TSP additions. Unrealized losses on everything else amounts to about 2 years salary and 4 years expenses. If the stock sell-off continues for much longer, I'll hit the 40% max for bo...
by TierArtz
Sun Dec 23, 2018 11:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tracking & Adjusting Asset Allocation
Replies: 7
Views: 520

Re: Tracking & Adjusting Asset Allocation

I use Excel and Morningstar X-Ray (as a premium subscriber). The number of mutual fund shares, ESPP shares, and CIT/TSP proxies (VG, Fido, TSP) are kept current in "Your Portfolio" on MS. I update it after each purchase (roughly biweekly). Perhaps weekly, I transfer the data from MS' X-Ray Details a...
by TierArtz
Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Birdwatching telescope recommendations
Replies: 17
Views: 894

Re: Birdwatching telescope recommendations

+1 for anything made by Vortex. They've won most of my optics business in the past few years. This year, I bought an angled 27x60X85 Razor HD spotting scope from Vortex (via Expert Voice; their military/LE discount front). The same scope is also marketed to birders: https://redstartbirding.com/produ...
by TierArtz
Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much do you pay for internet only?
Replies: 79
Views: 5193

Re: How much do you pay for internet only?

$82.99 per month to Cox for 150 Mbps. Own my own modem and router. Right now, with two kids playing Fortnite on wireless, a speed-test shows my wired connection at 183 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up. Service always works great, but might be overkill.
by TierArtz
Thu Dec 13, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Charitable Website Improved
Replies: 5
Views: 607

Re: Vanguard Charitable Website Improved

Wow; I did not know the Fidelity minimum for a charitable grant recommendation was as low as $50! I was both impressed and irritated at how thoroughly VG-C researched the local charity (sub-mega church) I wanted to provide a recurring grant to. Evidently no other congregant had crossed that bridge b...
by TierArtz
Thu Dec 13, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Charitable Website Improved
Replies: 5
Views: 607

Vanguard Charitable Website Improved

Thanks to the BHs, I climbed on the Donor Advised Fund wagon this year and elected to use Vanguard. When I initially funded the family trust's DAF in August, the process to contribute specified lots (the most appreciated ones) of VTSAX from our taxable account was painful. It took a 20 minute confer...
by TierArtz
Wed Dec 12, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008
Replies: 249
Views: 20322

Re: What Happened to you during the Financial crisis of 2007–2008

I retired from the military, started a new career, moved from a HCOL to a MCOL area, survived several rounds of downsizing, and watched the economic commotion without too much angst. As for investments I was 90:10 in Jan 2007 and 80:20 at the turn-around in 2009, so my AA became a little more conser...
by TierArtz
Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 22084

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

Our home equity is 17% of net worth and the remaining mortgage is about 15% of the home's estimated value. I closely follow the discussions on paying off mortgages early (ours is 3.5%), but I figure I'd be better served by maximizing tax-advantaged retirement savings (IRAs,401k, and NQ-DCP).
by TierArtz
Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric bill with LED
Replies: 102
Views: 7099

Re: Electric bill with LED

I plot my electricity usage monthly and have migrated from incandescent, to CFLs, to LEDs over the last 10 years. I hated the slow warm-up time of CFLs and converted to LEDs as soon as I saw good prices at Costco (often with a built-in power provider discount). Our average monthly energy usage decr...
by TierArtz
Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 375
Views: 22350

Re: What are your property taxes?

$4700 per year on a roughly $700K house, and $3500 per year on a section of mid-west farmland of about the same value. In New Jersey an acer of land will cost from $4,000 to $10,000 in property tax, vacant land included. People with enough land get a farm assessment and pay a few hundred dollars an...
by TierArtz
Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electric bill with LED
Replies: 102
Views: 7099

Re: Electric bill with LED

I plot my electricity usage monthly and have migrated from incandescent, to CFLs, to LEDs over the last 10 years. I hated the slow warm-up time of CFLs and converted to LEDs as soon as I saw good prices at Costco (often with a built-in power provider discount). Our average monthly energy usage decre...
by TierArtz
Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 375
Views: 22350

Re: What are your property taxes?

$4700 per year on a roughly $700K house, and $3500 per year on a section of mid-west farmland of about the same value.
by TierArtz
Fri Dec 07, 2018 10:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your allocation to U.S. and International?
Replies: 220
Views: 14326

Re: What is your allocation to U.S. and International?

My targets for international stocks and bonds are 30% of equity and 0% bonds. Now at 63% stock (31% International) and 37% bonds (age minus 20 in bonds). At the first of this year, I'd planned on following VG's 60/40 and 70/30 targeted retirement ratios for stocks and bonds, respectively. I gave up ...
by TierArtz
Tue Dec 04, 2018 1:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Older Dads - how do you plan for your own retirement while still raising kids?
Replies: 38
Views: 5196

Re: Older Dads - how do you plan for your own retirement while still raising kids?

I can somewhat relate to the OP. DW and I had our first child when I was 45 and our third when I was 50 (she is three years younger). Thankfully we'd gotten an early start on savings since getting married 18 years earlier (average of 17%) and had roughly $500k accumulated when the first child was bo...
by TierArtz
Tue Dec 04, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income
Replies: 59
Views: 4414

Re: Home Purchase Price vs. Gross Income

Our first purchased home was roughly 3X primary earner's income in 2001 in HCOL area. By 2009, the value had increased by 60% and we had almost 3X the prior income in equity; used a 15-year mortgage. Our second home was roughly 2X sole earner's now higher income in a MCOL area and the 15-year mortga...
by TierArtz
Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax efficient fund placement and tax loss harvesting
Replies: 7
Views: 698

Re: Tax efficient fund placement and tax loss harvesting

Don't forget the option of selling lots with losses and keeping the proceeds in your settlement account for 30 days and then buying whatever you need to hit your targeted AA. In October, I sold losing lots of Total International (VTIAX) and all of my Intermediate Term Tax Exempt (VWIUX) to harvest $...
by TierArtz
Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Restaurant Budget
Replies: 113
Views: 6748

Re: Restaurant Budget

We (family of 5) spend about $450 per month on "dining out" (food not bought at a grocery store), which is about 1/3 of the total food expenditure and 3% of take-home pay. We generally just drink water, which likely saves quite a bit. MCOL area.
by TierArtz
Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Electricity bill should be 7% per month of home sq footage.
Replies: 66
Views: 3997

Re: Electricity bill should be 7% per month of home sq footage.

We are at 8%. We'd likely be at 7% or less if we did not have to filter a pool (money pit). The summer peak is right at $500. Our home has had an energy assessment and was deemed very "tight". Thanks to Costco pricing, all lights are now LED.
by TierArtz
Tue Nov 06, 2018 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?
Replies: 234
Views: 15201

Re: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?

I really can't estimate accurately and hope to have about 40 years left. The eldest of our three children will just be starting college about the time I seriously contemplate retirement (5+ years from now). How much college costs and "who" our children become will greatly impact how the trust fund e...
by TierArtz
Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Earners - What's Your Profession?
Replies: 712
Views: 116714

Re: High Earners - What's Your Profession?

By at least one on-line calculator, I'm in the top 1% overall and in the top 3% not counting my military pension and farm income. I'm a doctorate level medical professional who uses a microscope (a lot) :-)
by TierArtz
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home security system for vacation home
Replies: 9
Views: 830

Re: Home security system for vacation home

I've used ADT for about 15 years. The first set-up was land-line only and a system take-over. When we hired them to again do a system take over after moving to a different state, notification switched to a dedicated cellular line, which should work anywhere there is dependable cell service. For more...
by TierArtz
Mon Nov 05, 2018 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?
Replies: 118
Views: 7548

Re: Do people calculate savings rate on gross income?

I save all I can without causing too much pain. My target percentage of gross is always met or exceeded, creeps up over time, and is presently 30% not counting employer 401(k) match.
by TierArtz
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:28 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fully maxed out
Replies: 70
Views: 8205

Re: Fully maxed out

In addition to the long list of tax advantaged accounts OP mentioned, is a deferred compensation plan. I could defer about 6X more to such a plan than I do, but there would be no vacations, eating out, or new "toys". We are essentially a one income family and do not have a HSA or after-tax 401(k) av...
by TierArtz
Tue Oct 30, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k down 8% this month
Replies: 58
Views: 6909

Re: 401k down 8% this month

I'm down about 7% for the month and still smiling about still being up over 10% per year (6X overall) since 01 March 2009! If we progress to a full-blown bear market, the silver lining for me is that I've resolved to retire after investing as much as I can through the next one.
by TierArtz
Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sequoia or Land Cruiser
Replies: 25
Views: 1417

Re: Sequoia or Land Cruiser

I, too, have three kids and one of the vehicles mentioned: Lexus GX. I love my Lexus, but hate taking three kids anywhere in it - our minivan fits that role perfectly: It keeps the kids away from each other and still leaves plenty of room for luggage space for a family of five. I'd love to have a ne...