Search found 237 matches

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: 5541

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: 6451

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: 97
Views: 4641

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: 108
Views: 7452

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: 1037

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: 185
Views: 9209

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: 185
Views: 9209

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: 196

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: 16480

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: 3049

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: 3049

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: 3049

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: 3049

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: 1603

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: 3014

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: 1297

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: 1297

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: 18560

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: 4057

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: 1869

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: 1869

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: 6487

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: 97
Views: 13053

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: 4403

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: 1282

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: 3254

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: 8033

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: 2059

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: 895

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: 2755

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: 1138

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: 1647

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: 2129

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: 1292

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.
by hirlaw
Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxable Dilemma: Fidelity Mutual vs Vanguard ETF
Replies: 12
Views: 1471

Re: Taxable Dilemma: Fidelity Mutual vs Vanguard ETF

I am in the same boat with taxable at Fidelity. For what its worth, for muni's I split between Fidelity Conservative Income Municipal Bond Fund (FCRDX) which I mentally treat as a tax-free money market due to its .69 yr. duration and Vanguard Tax-Exempt Bond ETF (VTEB).
by hirlaw
Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Brokered CDs - often better return secondary market
Replies: 62
Views: 8311

Re: Brokered CDs - often better return secondary market

When you purchase bonds on the Fidelity brokerage website, you can preview the purchase prior to committing. The preview (supposedly) gives you the after commissions effective yield you would be obtaining on the purchase.
by hirlaw
Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Embarrassment Preventing Retirement Work: A factor for you?
Replies: 133
Views: 14312

Re: Embarrassment Preventing Retirement Work: A factor for you?

This hits home! In a couple of weeks I am retiring from 37 yrs of practicing law. Being a sports nut, I have accepted a position as a Tour Guide for the local major league baseball club! Obviously, doing it for fun. My firm was certainly "surprised", but everyone has been great and very supportive.
by hirlaw
Thu Dec 28, 2017 11:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What is the best current account aggregator online?
Replies: 26
Views: 3191

Re: What is the best current account aggregator online?

I agree with nisiprius and don't use aggregators for security reasons. About every quarter, I manually enter my holdings into Morningstar's portfolio X-Ray which provides an excellent and detailed view of one's allocation. It takes me about 30 minutes each time I go through this exercise. Not a big ...
by hirlaw
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Miata as second car
Replies: 94
Views: 5109

Re: Miata as second car

How does more weight make a car safer? Unfortunately, a lot. Below is from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety: How do a vehicle's size and weight affect safety? All other things being equal, occupants in a bigger, heavier vehicle are better protected than those in a smaller, lighter vehicle...
by hirlaw
Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Miata as second car
Replies: 94
Views: 5109

Re: Miata as second car

I own a low mileage 2007 BMW Z4, which I love. I think Miata's are great cars but they only weight about 2300 lbs and I worry about the safety. The Z4 weights about 3100 lbs (about the same as a 2018 Honda Accord). But you are right to be concerned with the Z4 maintenance costs. Brakes, A/C, etc. ar...
by hirlaw
Mon Dec 25, 2017 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do Bogleheads save on eyeglasses?
Replies: 91
Views: 7824

Re: How do Bogleheads save on eyeglasses?

I have gotten progressive prescription lens from Costco and Warby Parker. But they have opticians at the stores to measure your eyes for the progressive lens.

How do purely online companies measure for progressives?
by hirlaw
Wed Dec 20, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Taxation of Zero Coupon Muni's
Replies: 3
Views: 354

Taxation of Zero Coupon Muni's

Are there any tax consequences if you buy a secondary market zero coupon municipal bond and hold it until maturity?

Thanks
by hirlaw
Tue Dec 19, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ally Bank 11 month [No-Penalty CD]
Replies: 382
Views: 36967

Re: Ally Bank 11 month No Penalty 1.75%

FYI -- Ally's 12 month CD is now 2.00%
by hirlaw
Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best online, real time tracker to watch my portfolio
Replies: 25
Views: 2599

Re: Best online, real time tracker to watch my portfolio

When you use a service such as Personal Capital or Yahoo to track your investments, are you giving them your actual user names and passwords for each account?
by hirlaw
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 2557

Re: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds

Thank you for your detailed explanations!
by hirlaw
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 2557

Re: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds

If real rates rose, then the prices of existing TIPS with lower real interest rate would go down. The price of newly issued TIPS would reflect the current real rates and would not have the lower prices that existing TIPS with lower real interest rates would have. Right -- so doesn't that argue agai...
by hirlaw
Fri Dec 15, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keys to a Successful Retirement
Replies: 64
Views: 11438

Re: Keys to a Successful Retirement

Here's an example: Say you have $1,000,000. 4% guideline means you can pull $40,000 a year out of that. If you bought a $500,000 SPIA at age 65, you might get 7% a year in payments. And you can still take 4% out of the remaining $500,000. So now you can spend $55,000 a year instead of $40,000. That...
by hirlaw
Fri Dec 15, 2017 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 2557

Re: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds

OP here: That was my concern. However, I feel as though I am missing something in that most recommended asset allocations for retirees and near retirees recommend a percentage of TIPs funds.
by hirlaw
Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Question About TIPs and TIP Funds
Replies: 43
Views: 2557

Question About TIPs and TIP Funds

I am close to retirement and have a portion of my fixed income in TIPs funds. Question : I understand that TIPs are for inflation protection, but rather than own them now, with negative real yields, why not just wait for inflation to heat up and/or rates rise (if ever!)? With higher inflation, the T...