Search found 252 matches

by hirlaw
Sun Nov 25, 2018 11:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion
Replies: 50
Views: 3158

Re: Roth Conversion

I understand that your tax rate may be higher when you are over 70, especially with RMD. But when you convert, aren't you also losing the investment earnings you could have received on the funds you used to pay taxes under the conversion?
by hirlaw
Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 79
Views: 8230

Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?

Curious to hear from current retirees as to whether they live off of interest and dividends (plus social security, rental income, pensions) or also withdraw from the principal/capital of their portfolio to meet your spending needs.
by hirlaw
Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard's Quantitative Equity Group Losing Talent
Replies: 61
Views: 4141

Re: Vanguard's Quantitative Equity Group Losing Talent

Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility Fund VMNVX has done a nice job so far given its mandate.

Its two managers, Anatoly Shtekhman and Fei Xu, do not appear to be among those departing Vanguard.
by hirlaw
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet Insurance Recommendations?
Replies: 11
Views: 951

Re: Pet Insurance Recommendations?

Why are you getting pet insurance? Have you run the numbers? Are there good ones today? My previous dog, a Shih Tzu, lived to be 15 years old. He had Cushings Disease which required medication costing about $300/month. Also, he had an eye condition requiring constant eye drops to control. Along the...
by hirlaw
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pet Insurance Recommendations?
Replies: 11
Views: 951

Pet Insurance Recommendations?

I am considering buying pet insurance for our 3 year old dog. Does anyone have any recommendations (or bad experiences) with a particular insurer?

Thanks!
by hirlaw
Thu Nov 01, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Extreme credit card debt
Replies: 37
Views: 4241

Re: Extreme credit card debt

Visit an experienced bankruptcy attorney to know your options. There is often no charge for the initial consultation. Also, be aware that "settling" a debt outside of bankruptcy may have income tax ramifications. Good luck!
by hirlaw
Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity
Replies: 13
Views: 1356

Re: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity

Are you sure that the annuity is after taxes?
Nope. Math challenged here. I just input the numbers into the online calculator (the link I posted above). It appeared to be after taxes.
by hirlaw
Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity
Replies: 13
Views: 1356

Re: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity

OP here: The 3 year Mass Mutual Annuity has a 2.9% tax deferred yield. At my tax bracket (24%), that should total $108,955 at maturity, after taxes. A 3 year taxable CD yielding 3.25% totals $107,595 at maturity, after taxes. FYI: I anticipate our income will be lower in 3 years. But these calculati...
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity
Replies: 13
Views: 1356

Re: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity

Thanks for your replies. From the calculators I was using, the tax deferral pushes the rate of return up above comparable CD's. With a AAA rated insurer and being within the limits of my State's insurance guaranty fund, it appears to be a fairly good deal.
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity
Replies: 13
Views: 1356

CD vs. Deferred Fixed Annuity

I was looking at 3 year secondary market CD's offered at Fidelity investing $100k for a taxable account. I noticed that Fidelity currently quotes Mass Mutual 3 year annuities at 2.90%. Unless I am doing my calculations incorrectly, it appears that the annuities offer roughly the same or higher rates...
by hirlaw
Thu Oct 25, 2018 11:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: E-Mini futures to replace Equity ETF in portfolio
Replies: 12
Views: 654

Re: E-Mini futures to replace Equity ETF in portfolio

I have to admit when I first "E-Mini" I thought it was a new electric version of a Mini-Cooper
by hirlaw
Fri Oct 19, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation heading into retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 1164

Re: Asset Allocation heading into retirement

I have chosen to follow a "bond tent" strategy, where my most conservative allocation (maximum bond percentage) is at retirement. Kitces discusses the concept here: https://www.kitces.com/blog/managing-po ... -red-zone/ ... am 45/55 heading into retirement (in 3 months). I will be spending down my ...
by hirlaw
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with variable annuity at retirement age?
Replies: 8
Views: 558

Re: What to do with variable annuity at retirement age?

Your welcome! I use a yearly 1035 exchange out of my Vanguard Variable Annuity to fund the annual premiums of my LTC policy. This process has become so routine for the insurance company that they have a form online for this very purpose. When Vanguard receives the form, it immediately transfers the ...
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:18 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with variable annuity at retirement age?
Replies: 8
Views: 558

Re: What to do with variable annuity at retirement age?

If she doesn't have long term care insurance, there may be a way to do a 1035 exchange into some type of LTC product. Others here may have more info on that possibility.
by hirlaw
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you annuitized some of your money?
Replies: 67
Views: 5886

Re: Have you annuitized some of your money?

I am 62 and have a Vanguard Variable Annuity which we have owned for several years. A few things: - I don't plan to annuitize it until I am closer to 70; - If there is a significant spike in interest rates, I may be tempted to annuitize sooner; - Because the insurance company backing the Vanguard an...
by hirlaw
Sun Oct 14, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?
Replies: 26
Views: 6724

Re: Fidelity "FidSafe" Free online storage of documents - is this safe?

U2F, which is probably the gold standard.
A couple of questions about the U2F security key: What if you lose the key? What if you are trying to log on with an IPhone (no USB port)?

Thanks
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Keep a backup hot water heater?
Replies: 104
Views: 5694

Re: Keep a backup hot water heater?

My wife and I go to the gym to shower when the hot water heater has an issue (which is very infrequent). Actually, the showers at the gym are much nicer than ours! :happy
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What did you buy today
Replies: 111
Views: 8473

Re: What did you buy today

A new Bosch dishwasher!
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone tax loss harvesting bond funds?
Replies: 12
Views: 1144

Anyone tax loss harvesting bond funds?

Is anyone tax loss harvesting bond funds or ETF's held in a taxable account? I have a couple that have some losses. I have pulled the trigger on one, but not the other.
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:49 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities
Replies: 198
Views: 11063

Re: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities

The rates are linked to interest rates, so if you were purchasing a new annuity, yes - it would be higher than the recent past... but at that point you purchase one, the payouts are locked in, so an old SPIA already purchased wouldn't change. https://www.immediateannuities.com/annuity-trends/ Thank...
by hirlaw
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities
Replies: 198
Views: 11063

Re: Allan Roth doesn't like single premium annuities

Have SPIA payouts increased in the last couple of years as interest rates have risen?
by hirlaw
Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: VNBX - Vang. Total International Bond Index -- Dollar Strength?
Replies: 1
Views: 206

VNBX - Vang. Total International Bond Index -- Dollar Strength?

BNDX, Vanguard Total International Bond Index, has performed well despite rising rates and a lower yield relative to the Total Bond Index. Is this due to its currency hedging and the strength of the dollar?

Thanks
by hirlaw
Fri Sep 07, 2018 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your Favorite [Travel Destination] on Earth: Where and Why?
Replies: 155
Views: 16782

Re: Your Favorite [Travel Destination] on Earth: Where and Why?

1) Buenos Aires and the Mendoza wine country.
2) Southern France
3) Carmel/Big Sur
4) Japan

Trips planned in the next few months: Oaxaca and Asheville.

Places we will go in the next few years: Basque Country, Portugal, South Africa, Thailand
by hirlaw
Sun Aug 05, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?
Replies: 31
Views: 3136

Re: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?

Do you need/have to back to a 4 door car? I can think of many fun sports cars under 40k.
I don't need 4 doors. A Miata is an obvious choice, but it is too light (about 2,300 lbs) - I worry about safety.
by hirlaw
Sun Aug 05, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?
Replies: 31
Views: 3136

Re: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?

Hi all: OP here. I should have told y'all that I am unfortunately very aware of the high repair costs of a German auto. My wife drives a 2013 5 series and I am the proud owner of a 2007 BMW Z4 which I have owned for 10 years. I love it, but it needs a $4,500 repair, which is about one-half the value...
by hirlaw
Sat Aug 04, 2018 12:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?
Replies: 31
Views: 3136

Re: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?

The current gen A4 is stellar. But I would get the torsen quattro one, not the ultra. The difference in mpg is minimal and the 'quattro' car is so much better to drive than the FWD ultra one. All A4s in MY18 have the same engine but different drive trains. I live in a flat city with no snow. I just...
by hirlaw
Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?
Replies: 31
Views: 3136

Audi A4 -- Does Anyone Have an Opinion About It?

I am looking at a 2018 Audi A4. I will probably go for the "Ultra", which has a less powerful engine, but is cheaper (seemed pretty quick to me!).

Was wondering if anyone has any experience with it -- good or bad.

Thanks!!
by hirlaw
Mon Jul 23, 2018 5:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Considering getting out of Wellington Fund(admiral)
Replies: 12
Views: 1740

Re: Considering getting out of Wellington Fund(admiral)

Wellington has had a couple of issues causing a drag in the current market: 1) The equity portion of the fund is heavy in large value, which has recently been trailing large growth and 2) It has about a 6.4 year duration on the bonds, which hurts in a rising rate environment.
by hirlaw
Sun Jul 15, 2018 9:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Newspapers & Publications
Replies: 36
Views: 3076

Re: Financial Newspapers & Publications

Bloomberg Business Week and Barron's. I enjoy both. I would subscribe to WSJ, but I am entirely too cheap!
by hirlaw
Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using IShares "IBonds" to build bond ladder?
Replies: 7
Views: 1394

Re: Using IShares "IBonds" to build bond ladder?

How does ICSH achieve a 2.48% yield with a duration of only .33 yrs?
by hirlaw
Thu Jul 05, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Using IShares "IBonds" to build bond ladder?
Replies: 7
Views: 1394

Using IShares "IBonds" to build bond ladder?

Besides expense ratio, are there any downside to using a defined maturity bond etf, such as IShares IBonds, to build a bond ladder in lieu of buying individual bonds? For those unfamiliar, these etf's have defined terms, e.g., December 2021, and will liquidate at that time (see, iShares iBonds Dec 2...
by hirlaw
Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 194
Views: 18672

Re: Life in retirement - what did you do today?

I am 62 and retired after 37 years practicing law. I suppose I'm not fully retired in that I am employed part-time by our local MLB team as a tour guide (Go Stros!). Not working today so I read the paper with coffee, browsed the web, watered newly planted plants, played with our dog. I am about to g...
by hirlaw
Sat Jun 09, 2018 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Upgrade to SSD for 5-year old desktop?
Replies: 64
Views: 4118

IMac SSD

Does anyone know if you can also upgrade the HD on an IMac (I believe we have the "late 2012" version)?
by hirlaw
Tue May 22, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have Annuity Rates Gone Up?
Replies: 15
Views: 1908

Re: Have Annuity Rates Gone Up?

Thanks for all of your replies. I am familiar with the www.immediateannuities.com site. I just hadn't kept track of whether the rates (I suppose payouts is a better term) have increased along with interest rates.
by hirlaw
Mon May 21, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have Annuity Rates Gone Up?
Replies: 15
Views: 1908

Have Annuity Rates Gone Up?

I am not presently in the market for a single premium immediate annuity (a lifetime annuity, not one for a set number of years), but might be in the next few years.

I was wondering if anyone has followed whether the payout rates have gone up recently with the recent rise in interest rates.
by hirlaw
Thu Apr 26, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K
Replies: 81
Views: 6731

Re: Comfortable Commuter Cars under $50K

Move closer to work and buy a sports car!
by hirlaw
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?
Replies: 119
Views: 19448

Re: New retirees: so whatdayathink ?

I'm 61 and retired 3 months ago. As a sports nut, I have a part-time job as a tour guide for the local major league baseball team. I think it helps the retirement transition to have some regular activity, be it volunteer work, part-time work or whatever you are interested in. The first couple of wee...
by hirlaw
Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anyone hold any defensive funds in their portfolio?
Replies: 41
Views: 4639

Re: Anyone hold any defensive funds in their portfolio?

Besides fixed income and CD's, I hold some Vanguard Global Minimum Volatility fund (VMVFX).
by hirlaw
Wed Mar 14, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Liquidity/Sale of Brokered CD
Replies: 13
Views: 1318

Liquidity/Sale of Brokered CD

I am considering a 5 yr. brokered CD at Fidelity. I was wondering if anyone has any input on the ability to sell these CD's if desired in the future. I understand the interest rate risk, but is there an active market? Is there a large bid/ask spread (where the seller would take a big haircut)? Thanks!
by hirlaw
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Muni Bond market
Replies: 29
Views: 3359

Re: Muni Bond market

I have muni funds, etf's and individual munis (purchased through Fidelity). Fidelity seems to have a good inventory and nice screening tools. One additional manual screen I use is to make sure that the Moody's and/or S&P rating is fairly recent. Unless the credit worthiness is obvious, I try to buy ...
by hirlaw
Fri Feb 09, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I didn't tax-loss harvest this month, did you?
Replies: 103
Views: 8217

Re: I didn't tax-loss harvest this month, did you?

I tax loss harvested some tax-exempt intermediate bond fund shares into a shorter duration fund. I intend to re-purchase after 31 days.
by hirlaw
Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pros & Cons of Zero Coupon Treasuries
Replies: 18
Views: 2200

Pros & Cons of Zero Coupon Treasuries

I am considering buying Zero Coupon Treasuries. I don't need the interest payments, these would be part of the bond portion of my asset allocation and my intent would be to hold them to maturity. What I like is that the interest is quasi - "reinvested" rather than paid out periodically, so that I wo...
by hirlaw
Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks/Bonds relationship
Replies: 10
Views: 923

Re: Stocks/Bonds relationship

The type of bonds also matter. For example, high yield (junk) bonds have a higher correlation to stocks than treasuries or investment grade corporate.
by hirlaw
Wed Jan 31, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wireless Earbuds For Running (Updates for 2018?)
Replies: 36
Views: 2862

Re: Wireless Earbuds For Running (Updates for 2018?)

I reall like bose soundsport wireless I have them and like them as well. Sound is great. I do have a couple of issues. First, is they feel (and look) a bit bulky and second, one of them has started to fall out occasionally (I haven't tried the other size ear buds yet). But, the sound is top notch.
by hirlaw
Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Podcast suggestions
Replies: 6
Views: 1156

Re: Podcast suggestions

I like Marketplace
by hirlaw
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bankruptcy questions
Replies: 16
Views: 1688

Re: Bankruptcy questions

As someone who has practiced bankruptcy law for many years, the only advise I can give on a forum such as this is to advise your friend to consult with a competent attorney who specializes in consumer bankruptcy law. Many attorneys will offer a free or very inexpensive initial consultation. The atto...
by hirlaw
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Personal Finance Magazine
Replies: 17
Views: 2163

Re: Personal Finance Magazine

I really like Bloomberg Business Week and Barron's. Subscribe to both.
by hirlaw
Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why bother with corporate bond funds instead of just U.S. Treasuries + Stock Index Fund/ETF?
Replies: 16
Views: 1375

Re: Why bother with corporate bond funds instead of just U.S. Treasuries + Stock Index Fund/ETF?

Don't treasuries have a little more interest rate sensitivity than corporate bonds of equal duration? If so, that may be a reason to add some corporates if you are of the opinion that interest rates will increase.