Search found 400 matches

by Bammerman
Sun Feb 21, 2021 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do I determine my approximate total rate of return on investments?
Replies: 5
Views: 459

How do I determine my approximate total rate of return on investments?

I've had the same asset allocation, with only slight changes, for at least 10 years. According to Financial Engines, that allocation is: Cash and Short Term Bonds (in my case, this is almost entirely made up of the TSP G-Fund): 58% Bonds: 11% U.S. Large Cap Stocks: 21% U.S. Mid/Small Cap Stocks: 3% ...
by Bammerman
Sun Feb 07, 2021 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you protect your paid off house?
Replies: 41
Views: 4139

Re: How do you protect your paid off house?

+1 for homeowners and umbrella liability insurance. Also check into your homeowners policy to see about your replacement coverage in case of total catastrophe to your home. May also be wise to have a written list with pictures of all of your possessions that are in your home and have this stored in...
by Bammerman
Wed Feb 03, 2021 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A physics question
Replies: 21
Views: 1969

Re: A physics question

The Delta Electronics VFB25ACH Breez 80 CFM Humidity Sensor Exhaust Fan can be set to operate in either of two modes--humidity sensor or full speed. A pair of blue and amber LED lights indicate which mode is active. This actually is the fan we have. I chose it when we had the bathroom renovated two...
by Bammerman
Wed Feb 03, 2021 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A physics question
Replies: 21
Views: 1969

A physics question

This question has been nagging at me for a while and I hope someone here has enough of a science background to answer it: The question arose when I noticed that the exhaust fan in my bathroom, which turns on automatically when it detects high humidity [e.g. after I shower] seems to run more slowly i...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 16, 2021 6:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How can I teach my 5 year old daughter about investing?
Replies: 109
Views: 5065

Re: How can I teach my 5 year old daughter about investing?

Better to spend the time PLAYING with your daughter!
by Bammerman
Mon Jan 11, 2021 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Traditional IRA vs TSP vs other for retirement funds
Replies: 9
Views: 793

Re: Traditional IRA vs TSP vs other for retirement funds

You do not mention the effect, if any, of the proposed changes on your state income taxes (again, if any). I mention this because in at least one state, North Carolina, TSP payouts are exempt from state income tax (for certain qualified federal annuitants). Just a caution to be sure you are aware of...
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 09, 2021 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: cashing in EE and I savings bonds, or S&P index fund, to pay for renovations?
Replies: 7
Views: 543

Re: cashing in EE and I savings bonds, or S&P index fund, to pay for renovations?

Broken Man, could you please explain/amplify your comment, “You can't replace the Roth space you would give up.”? Especially “replace” and “Roth space”?
by Bammerman
Sat Jan 09, 2021 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: cashing in EE and I savings bonds, or S&P index fund, to pay for renovations?
Replies: 7
Views: 543

cashing in EE and I savings bonds, or S&P index fund, to pay for renovations?

Greetings all, and Happy New Year, as best as possible in this sad era. We have now received the final bill for all our finished renovations/repairs, etc., and of course, with various "additions" which we requested, we're going to need more money, about $10,000. The question is whether to ...
by Bammerman
Tue Dec 29, 2020 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Treadmill
Replies: 39
Views: 2589

Buying a used treadmill

My wife and I have been walking a lot more since Covid. I used to go to the Y at least five days a week to work out, but not since last March. With the approach of winter (and icy sidewalks, etc.) I began to think about buying a treadmill -- a used one (I am a Boglehead, after all). I lucked out and...
by Bammerman
Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you expect a massive surge of economic activity if/when the Covid Pandemic "resolves"?
Replies: 51
Views: 4149

Yes I do

As I said in another post, I believe there will be a huge surge -- in travel from the US to international locations, as well as in tourism (and business travel) from abroad to the US. I think there's an enormous pent-up demand just waiting for safer conditions to be released.
by Bammerman
Mon Dec 07, 2020 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard index vs TSP
Replies: 39
Views: 2767

Research your state tax implications

...Just be sure to research your state's tax implications, if any, of "fiddling" with your TSP. In my state (NC) there's a state supreme court ruling (the Bailey rule) that affects (eliminates) state income tax obligations for pensions of certain retired federal employees. This includes pa...
by Bammerman
Thu Dec 03, 2020 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What fountain pen(s) should I buy?
Replies: 30
Views: 2087

Re: What fountain pen(s) should I buy?

Do you want a pen that is for "show" or for "go"? In my experience it usually comes down to a choice between the two. My best "go" pens are Pelikan and Waterman Phileas. Okay, as soon as I typed that, I realized I had forgotten my sterling silver Parker 75 (s) ! Sorry a...
by Bammerman
Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:05 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Where is the Munchkin Man?
Replies: 67
Views: 16087

Re: Missing Munchkin Man

To me, the "actionable item" is to remember that we're human beings, not just money machines.
by Bammerman
Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing for an expected resurgence in international travel
Replies: 14
Views: 1157

Re: Investing for an expected resurgence in international travel

"So you think that there will be a real resurgence of Europeans, Indians, Japanese, South Americans, Australians and so forth visiting the US?"
Of course.
by Bammerman
Sun Nov 29, 2020 11:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing for an expected resurgence in international travel
Replies: 14
Views: 1157

Investing for an expected resurgence in international travel

I believe that in just a year or two, or three or four -- once the vaccine is really out-and-about in the world -- there will be a huge resurgence in international travel (travel, tourism, dining, shopping, and related activities) as all the pent-up demand is released. If I assume that to be a truis...
by Bammerman
Thu Nov 26, 2020 9:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Who actually rebalanced recently?
Replies: 92
Views: 5759

Re: Who actually rebalanced recently?

Every day (my biggest stake is in the TSP's L funds, which rebalance daily).
by Bammerman
Tue Nov 17, 2020 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking forward to a big European vacation in a couple of years
Replies: 1
Views: 392

Looking forward to a big European vacation in a couple of years

I'm trying to figure out our (self, age 69 + wife, 68) current asset allocation. According to Financial Engines, all our various retirement funds add up to this allocation: Cash and Short Term Bonds: 58% Bonds: 11% U.S. Large Cap Stocks: 20% U.S. Mid/Small Cap Stocks: 3% International Stocks: 7% Oth...
by Bammerman
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:19 am
Forum: US Chapters
Topic: Where is the Munchkin Man?
Replies: 67
Views: 16087

Missing Munchkin Man

[Thread merged into here, see below (next page). --admin LadyGeek] I've been re-reading some of Munchkin Man's posts. I miss the MM! MM, where are you when we really need you? I can't believe it's been 13 years since his first post on Bogleheads. Entertaining, friendly, unusual, good-spirited. And ...
by Bammerman
Tue Nov 10, 2020 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 1532

Re: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?

Since there's been so much interest in this thread ( :D ) I thought I'd close the circle: I decided to take the funds required to pay for the repairs from my TSP. What really worked out nicely here is that, purely by chance (I wish I could claim brilliant clairvoyance, but it just ain't so), my TSP ...
by Bammerman
Sun Oct 04, 2020 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 1532

Which fund to use?

While I am now working with a mortgage broker regarding a refinance, I don't plan to do a cash-out refinance, so that will be irrelevant to my need for additional cash in a few weeks to pay for these house repair projects. I will need to sell approximately $10,000 worth of assets in one of the funds...
by Bammerman
Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts
Replies: 16
Views: 2251

Re: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts

So $310 is the current daily benefit, after prior inflation adjustments have been applied? Yes. Is the inflation adjustment a cap based on CPI or an automatic adjustment? I don't know. I can't find anything responsive to this question on JH's very laconic website. You haven’t given us any informati...
by Bammerman
Mon Sep 28, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Census 2020 question
Replies: 38
Views: 3597

Re: Census 2020 question

I was a census enumerator -- pardon me if someone else already provided this: About 10% of census respondents are selected for quality-control phone calls or personal contacts to check on my work and that of other enumerators -- to make sure we got it right and didn't just make it up, etc. As to you...
by Bammerman
Wed Sep 23, 2020 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 1532

Re: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?

I don't really understand the logic behind a cash-out refi to pay for these home projects. After factoring in the cost of the refinance, even if there's a lower interest rate than I'm currently paying (4.25%), it seems to me that the total cost of the refi would still be higher than the rate(s) that...
by Bammerman
Tue Sep 22, 2020 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 1532

Which fund to take the needed money from?

At this point I'm not refinancing, although I'm still watching the numbers. I've recently picked up a few odd jobs including some census work, but that only amounts to a few thousand dollars. So we plan to pay for most of the work from our credit union money market account. That will take care of ab...
by Bammerman
Sun Sep 13, 2020 8:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts
Replies: 16
Views: 2251

Re: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts

Current/past annual premium: $1,690.21. New annual premium (if I don't take any of the other options): $2,286.53. Yes, thank goodness, my net worth has increased in the last 13 or so years since I bought this policy. But I'd like to ensure that no matter what, there's something left for my wife* and...
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 12, 2020 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts
Replies: 16
Views: 2251

Another "They're raising my LTC premium" posts

I have a LTC policy with John Hancock. Some years ago they gave me a choice between a premium increase or reducing my annual inflation rate from 5% to 3.9% compound, and I chose the latter. The daily benefit on the policy is $310. Now again they plan to increase the premium, and are giving me the ch...
by Bammerman
Sat Sep 05, 2020 5:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cool roof paint for S. Florida
Replies: 11
Views: 1060

Re: cool roof paint for S. Florida

I have experience with this. Our most popular, most used room in our house gets direct sun from the West and from the South. It gets HOT in the summer. It is the sole room in the house with a flat "membrane" roof. It's over a garage. When we moved into the house the roof was black. I waite...
by Bammerman
Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?
Replies: 13
Views: 1532

For new roof, painting, new deck: cash-out refi, or cash-in investments?

Our house needs a new roof (no leaks we are aware of, but it's 17 years old and showing its age -- and I don't want to wait until we do discover water damage), a new deck, and repainting. The bill for all three projects would be $56,000. The question is, should we cash in some of our investments to ...
by Bammerman
Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not sure how to tell if I'm in the affected class (iPhone slowdown settlement)
Replies: 8
Views: 931

Re: Not sure how to tell if I'm in the affected class (iPhone slowdown settlement)

I forwarded the email to my kids and other family members whom I knew had or had had these phones. I know $25 isn't much these days but every little bit counts (especially for Bogleheads!).
by Bammerman
Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not sure how to tell if I'm in the affected class (iPhone slowdown settlement)
Replies: 8
Views: 931

Not sure how to tell if I'm in the affected class (iPhone slowdown settlement)

Today I received an email regarding a settlement in a lawsuit concerning Apple and "diminished performance" in certain iPhones. To quote an excerpt, "Apple will provide a cash payment per eligible device to each Class Member who submits a timely and valid Claim Form including a serial...
by Bammerman
Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A question for users of Google's Chromecast or Chromecast ultra
Replies: 1
Views: 222

A question for users of Google's Chromecast or Chromecast ultra

I have tried to research this but have not found the answer. Maybe one of you can help. Situation: I have an LG OLED smart tv from 2017 that I'm very happy with, however, it did not come with a version of Google Assistant built in, as I believe later years' LG models did. I use the tv's built-in app...
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fewer IRA contributions/deductions in 2020 for many
Replies: 6
Views: 518

Re: Fewer IRA contributions/deductions in 2020 for many

Not that hard when you only work part time and/or rarely, but my post wasn't about me personally, but about the very large number of people who'll be working much less in 2020 and therefore making much smaller IRA investments, or none at all, this year.
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 14, 2020 4:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fewer IRA contributions/deductions in 2020 for many
Replies: 6
Views: 518

Fewer IRA contributions/deductions in 2020 for many

I just finished making the last of my 2019 Roth contributions, and filed my federal tax return. I doubt that either my wife or I wi'll have any earned income in 2020, thanks to Covid-19 job losses, and therefore I expect that we won't be eligible to make any IRA contributions this year. I presume th...
by Bammerman
Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to replace deck?
Replies: 24
Views: 2205

Looking for more info on composite deck materials

This is a timely thread for me. My deck is only about 10 years old, but was built, I now understand, rather poorly, with mediocre, at least, materials. I'm thinking strongly of having it re-planked with a composite such as Trex. That will be expensive, in part because additional headers will need to...
by Bammerman
Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them
Replies: 34
Views: 2564

Re: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them

I did it -- put in GFCI in five ungrounded outlets, including two 20-amp receptacles (of course using 20-amp GFCI in those two) and labeling them appropriately. Not at all difficult. Wasted the most time trying to figure out which circuit breakers controlled the various locations. I'm glad I did it ...
by Bammerman
Tue Jun 09, 2020 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What happens to all my digitized photos when I die?
Replies: 68
Views: 5582

What happens to all my digitized photos when I die?

I had a horrible thought a few moments ago: what if I were to die unexpectedly and, as a result, all the thousands of old family photos that I've digitized over the years are lost/become inaccessible to my children and grandchildren? These are pictures not only of my youth and that of my wife and ou...
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 07, 2020 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them
Replies: 34
Views: 2564

Re: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them

I'm going the GFCI route, and put on my mask and bought a set of three at Lowes this afternoon. I'll start installing them tomorrow morning while it's still cool. (in the course of all this I found a three-hole receptacle behind my dresser, and was really excited, until I plugged the tester in and i...
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 07, 2020 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them
Replies: 34
Views: 2564

Re: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them

Thanks to everybody for this extremely useful information. My three portable indoor AC units all have big plugs that incorporate "reset" and "test" buttons, which make them look, at least to my uneducated eye, like GFCI. Is that what they are? Also, I was trying to "check fo...
by Bammerman
Sun Jun 07, 2020 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them
Replies: 34
Views: 2564

Cheaters [ground plug adapters]-- how do deal with them, how to find them when you need them

[thread title edited for clarity - moderator prudent] The "cheater" I'm talking about is the little gizmo that lets you plug a 3-prong, grounded plug into an old 2-hole, ungrounded electrical receptacle. If you have an older home you know what I'm talking about, if perhaps you use a diffe...
by Bammerman
Sat Jun 06, 2020 7:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I Guess I Need A New TV?
Replies: 18
Views: 2218

Re: I Guess I Need A New TV?

Life is a mystery. Isn't it great?
by Bammerman
Thu May 28, 2020 5:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: At what moment does retirement begin?
Replies: 68
Views: 6012

Re: At what moment does retirement begin?

To give my answer to the OP's question, "at what moment does retirement begin": I used to think -- mistakenly -- that I would "retire" when I stopped working for the USG and began collecting my pension. I had based my investing strategies on the idea that this is when "retir...
by Bammerman
Thu May 28, 2020 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Pros and Cons of sitting on an iPhone 11 Pro
Replies: 41
Views: 3251

Re: The Pros and Cons of sitting on an iPhone 11 Pro

Good news, I just read this from MacRumors: "Apple's ‌iPhone 11 Pro‌ also fared the best in a bend test, bending at 251 pounds of pressure. The ‌iPhone 11‌ bent at 240 pounds of pressure, while the ‌iPhone 11 Pro Max‌ cracked at 232 pounds." This means, given my current weight, that I can ...
by Bammerman
Thu May 28, 2020 6:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Pros and Cons of sitting on an iPhone 11 Pro
Replies: 41
Views: 3251

Re: The Pros and Cons of sitting on an iPhone 11 Pro

I knew I wouldn't be disappointed in the quality of responses on a Boglehead forum!

I meant back pocket. I normally carry my phone in my front pants pocket, screen towards my body. If anything happens to the phone there, I have worse things to worry about than the health of my phone.
by Bammerman
Wed May 27, 2020 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Pros and Cons of sitting on an iPhone 11 Pro
Replies: 41
Views: 3251

The Pros and Cons of sitting on an iPhone 11 Pro

I've seen even dumber questions posted here, so I'm not going to be too embarrassed to ask this: with its stainless steel frame and super-gorilla-glass screen, would it be safe for a 160-lb. man to carry his iPhone 11 Pro in his hip pocket? I'm sure there are lots of people who would like to share t...
by Bammerman
Wed May 13, 2020 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Order to Spend Down
Replies: 1
Views: 404

Order to Spend Down

I'm revising/updating my financial advice letter to my spouse in case I predecease her, and I have a question about one part of it -- the order in which to spend down assets. Note, this paragraph does not address other income streams such as my pension, which would continue (at a reduced rate) and h...
by Bammerman
Sat May 09, 2020 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which fund to use to increase my equity exposure now with an IRA investment
Replies: 24
Views: 1205

NC's Bailey Rule and the TSP and IRAs

Admittedly it has been quite a while since I read through the Bailey Rule, but I'm pretty sure I remember explicit mention that proceeds from a Bailey-eligible federal retiree's TSP investments are not subject to NC income tax, but that moving the funds out of the TSP would render any subsequent pro...
by Bammerman
Thu May 07, 2020 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Theory vs. Practice, Redux
Replies: 4
Views: 238

Theory vs. Practice, Redux

I'm sure this has been discussed in the forum a million times or more. But I'm still perplexed about why so many people recommend keeping a collection of funds of different, and separate, asset types -- as opposed to balanced funds. Because it seems to me that the only important day -- as regards th...
by Bammerman
Wed May 06, 2020 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which fund to use to increase my equity exposure now with an IRA investment
Replies: 24
Views: 1205

tax calculation? what tax calculation?

So I guess the question really is, whether my tax rate is likely to go up in future years, in which a Roth IRA investment (for 2019, still permitted under recent emergency tax changes) would be more advantageous, or down, in which case a traditional IRA investment would be better. But that's hard to...
by Bammerman
Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Vanguard only allow ETF accounts now?
Replies: 17
Views: 1466

Re: Does Vanguard only allow ETF accounts now?

Thanks for these hints and clarifications. I had looked for, but had not found, the method to add a fund to my existing Roth IRA account. Now I've gone back and found how to do it, thanks to the aforementioned posts, and have purchased the highly adventurous and speculative VTTVX fund. Initially I t...
by Bammerman
Fri Mar 27, 2020 6:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Does Vanguard only allow ETF accounts now?
Replies: 17
Views: 1466

Re: Does Vanguard only allow ETF accounts now?

I am trying to ask, must I now open a brokerage account at Vanguard in order to purchase mutual fund shares?

I don't want a brokerage account.