Search found 151 matches

by Northster
Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What generalist books attempt to explain human nature?
Replies: 39
Views: 2730

Re: What generalist books attempt to explain human nature?

Some good suggestions here. I would add Sapolsky's 'Behave', which delves deeply into the origins of our actions and thoughts. Though perhaps too much neurology for some. You can see the contents and sample much of the intro on Amazon.
by Northster
Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Spreadsheets
Replies: 77
Views: 6406

Re: Spreadsheets

Everyone's situation is different. For me, with assets spread over 8 accounts I need a spreadsheet to track and adjust asset allocation. Nothing complicated but essential for me.
by Northster
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Target funds for Inherited IRA
Replies: 17
Views: 857

Re: Vanguard Target funds for Inherited IRA

I certainly agree a target fund would work just fine. I have an inherited IRA I got in 2002 at age 56 and have made part of my overall portfolio that was 60/40 but since 2009 has been 40/60. It started at $200K and still has $125K, and would probably be more if I hadn't taken more than the RMD one y...
by Northster
Tue Sep 03, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions
Replies: 91
Views: 12511

Re: Learnings/Regrets from last two recessions

During the dotcom I was not a Boglehead, but held fast and rode it out. In 2008 I was a year from retirement and had been 60% equities. So it was not a disaster, and trying to be a good Boglehead I did a bit of buying on the way down. By the bottom, with retirement looming, I was like a deer in the ...
by Northster
Tue Aug 13, 2019 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Can having wealthy parents be a justification for a more aggressive investment strategy?
Replies: 97
Views: 7836

Re: Can having wealthy parents be a justification for a more aggressive investment strategy?

I have been on both sides of this. I took the conventional advice and paid no attention to any possible inheritance, with the result that I got quite a windfall. We have a lot of anecdotes on the topic; does anyone know of actual data? On the other side, I have made a point of informing our benefici...
by Northster
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking of starting a financial advisory firm
Replies: 30
Views: 2753

Re: Thinking of starting a financial advisory firm

I prefer fee-based advisors as well, and consulted one who did a good job for. Later I found out he couldn't support his family offering a service like that, and went to work for American Express.
by Northster
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For long time retirees, do you use a spreadsheet?
Replies: 37
Views: 2961

Re: For long time retirees, do you use a spreadsheet?

I use a Google sheet that pulls fund prices from Google Finance. In addition to tracking portfolio total it also tracks asset allocation so I can easily make adjustments as needed. I do an update quarterly or when trades are made.
by Northster
Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMD Withdrawal Method
Replies: 27
Views: 2000

Re: RMD Withdrawl Method

I take a modest payout from TIAA monthly for living expenses and a larger IRA RMD semiannually since I don't want to put it directly into checking and would like to keep it working longer than an annual payout would do. But just personal preference.
by Northster
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Organization
Replies: 57
Views: 4858

Re: Garage Organization

I wrestled with the matter of hanging garden tools and finally found I could build something that suited me better than what is on the market. Basically a horizontal strip of wood with wooden pegs. I have found I could better customize shelves by buying brackets and making my own. I do use a peg boa...
by Northster
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estimating 2019 federal income taxes (to pay in 2020)
Replies: 10
Views: 1328

Re: Estimating 2019 federal income taxes (to pay in 2020)

I use my tax software (from 2018) to create a '2019proj' return that I can customize as needed.
by Northster
Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retired: Do you withdraw from investments or cash ?
Replies: 74
Views: 9866

Re: Retired: Do you withdraw from investments or cash ?

I keep very little cash but have a fair amount in a short-term bond fund and use that as a source for my RMD, with a twice a year pay out. In my taxable account if I need cash for a special purchase I sell from whichever fund is out of balance. I have never really understood the bucket approach.
by Northster
Wed May 29, 2019 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does TIAA-CREF work?
Replies: 17
Views: 1768

Re: How does TIAA-CREF work?

I have TIAA traditional and have chosen an option I don't often see discussed -- taking an RMD. I did a spreadsheet comparing the annuity vs RMD and found that while the annuity gave greater returns in early years, when I looked at income received+assets remaining, the RMD seemed more favorable. Of ...
by Northster
Mon May 06, 2019 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roku
Replies: 37
Views: 4622

Re: Roku

I have the Ultra with a Sony receiver and Harmony remote. I use it for all my streaming and have been very pleased. Previously I used a Tivo but it sometimes stalled when streaming, even with ethernet connection. No such problems with Roku. I will say the Roku remote is not quite as ergonomic as the...
by Northster
Mon May 06, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?
Replies: 77
Views: 6363

Re: Anybody try the Blue Apron or the like?

Some good recipes but we felt we were kind of slaves to the constantly arriving packages.
by Northster
Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations on treadmill purchase
Replies: 16
Views: 1270

Re: Recommendations on treadmill purchase

Nothing but good to say about our 20-year old Landice. Very basic but a real workhorse.
by Northster
Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: YouTube TV is increasing their price - will you cancel it?
Replies: 63
Views: 5492

Re: YouTube TV is increasing their price - will you cancel it?

I have been considering canceling anyhow. I had been looking forward to Nat Geo & Smithsonian but find most of the offerings are dreck and have ads to boot. Not that impressed with the DVR nor the remote, which lacks an easy way to advance through ads. I think I will be better off just paying Amazon...
by Northster
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fama-French benchmark portfolios: last chance to download them!
Replies: 1
Views: 343

Re: Fama-French benchmark portfolios: last chance to download them!

FWIW, from Copyright Office: 'Your work is under copyright protection the moment it is created and fixed in a tangible form...'
Registration is voluntary.
by Northster
Wed Jan 30, 2019 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax cannot import Vanguard 1099
Replies: 39
Views: 3052

Re: TurboTax cannot import Vanguard 1099

HR Block told me that export not ready until 1/31. Maybe posting on Vanguard and making export available are slightly out of sync.
by Northster
Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you searched for your unclaimed property?
Replies: 59
Views: 5445

Re: Have you searched for your unclaimed property?

I had an interesting experience a few years ago when a vendor I had used (and not a large one), took the time to check and notify me of some lost funds. I too thought I was pretty careful, but this one fell through the cracks.
by Northster
Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Under $100k Avg Annual Income Millionaires and How You Did It?
Replies: 117
Views: 14990

Re: Under $100k Avg Annual Income Millionaires and How You Did It?

First a generous 403b at about 15% of salary, plus more savings. Also helped to be in the market in the 80s and 90s. I was actually pretty conservative, with half my 403 to TIAA Trad and half to equities.
by Northster
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Way to get rid of leaves
Replies: 83
Views: 9126

Re: Best Way to get rid of leaves

I was lucky to have some space at the back of the yard and piled the leaves there. Even in Minnesota they were gone by spring, as if by magic. I had way too many to mulch and even piles that were knee deep composted nicely.
by Northster
Thu Jan 03, 2019 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snow Plowing
Replies: 54
Views: 2793

Re: Snow Plowing

I shoveled my Minnesota drive for many years but at age 72 have now hired someone to do it. The only downside is that with no more mowing or shoveling I seem to have trouble keeping my weight under control.
by Northster
Sun Dec 30, 2018 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best bet for streaming YouTube TV on my TV?
Replies: 27
Views: 2154

Re: Best bet for streaming YouTube TV on my TV?

If you care, I have heard that smart TVs are notorious for tallying everything you watch and selling it to the highest bidder(s). I use Roku which seems to have a better privacy setting. But would be interested if others have more information on this.
by Northster
Thu Dec 06, 2018 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to TIVO
Replies: 25
Views: 15843

Re: Alternatives to TIVO

Two things I like about my Tivo Bolt is the ergonomic remote and the ability to program it from my tablet. Don't know how those compare to other services.
by Northster
Thu Nov 29, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card question
Replies: 12
Views: 1259

Re: Credit card question

I was in a similar situation, minus the bad credit history. I simply had no credit rating because I had never had a credit card. I got a couple of cards where I paid a deposit that became my credit limit. After a year of regular payments I now have a decent, though not excellent, credit score.
by Northster
Mon Nov 26, 2018 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheriting accounts as a beneficiary - potential issues and practical tips?
Replies: 33
Views: 2543

Re: Inheriting accounts as a beneficiary - potential issues and practical tips?

Every situation is different but my experience with a sister who died without a will and then with my parents, was that having named beneficiaries and joint bank accounts made things go smoothly. In my parents case, as the end drew near, I had myself named as trustee of the family trust and was able...
by Northster
Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you decide to move from your home to senior living?
Replies: 15
Views: 3353

Re: When did you decide to move from your home to senior living?

From my experience with my parents, it was important to move to a facility with a continuum of care. Having decided they could not keep up a house they moved to a townhome in a retirement complex and enjoyed independent living for a few years, then when it was necessary they moved to an assisted liv...
by Northster
Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using your home as old age care self-insurance?
Replies: 74
Views: 6357

Re: Using your home as old age care self-insurance?

Speaking from personal experience, even though both parents were in assisted living at the same time, it turned out that house equity covered nearly all their care, and in a very nice facility. We did tap some savings and could have tapped more if needed, but unless the care extends for many years I...
by Northster
Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you 7 figure guys organize multiple accounts?
Replies: 164
Views: 13236

Re: How do you 7 figure guys organize multiple accounts?

I have 8 accounts that I manage in a Google Sheet. Both Google and Excel have functions that let you call up yesterday's closing price for a fund or stock and calculate your balance based on the number of shares you have plugged into a formula. When you reinvest dividends I find that it keeps an acc...
by Northster
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 25 Year Old Overwhelmed With Inheritance. Please Help!
Replies: 15
Views: 3347

Re: Help With Setting AA for Inherited IRA with RMD

I agree that it's best to manage the entire portfolio as a unit. I have two IRAs , two Roths, an inherited IRA, and a taxable account. I am retired and closer to a 50/50 allocation so the content of each account is determined in part by tax considerations. I also have concentrated equities in Roths ...
by Northster
Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset Allocation with multiple retirement accounts
Replies: 10
Views: 1067

Re: Asset Allocation with multiple retirement accounts

If you plan to re-balance you will have difficulty with one fund per account, plus each account probably grows at a different rate.
by Northster
Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Yes, It’ll Happen - Jonathan Clements
Replies: 33
Views: 7628

Re: Yes, It’ll Happen - Jonathan Clements

Can we assume that all pensions have a COLA?
by Northster
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:37 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Garrett Planning Network experiences
Replies: 14
Views: 2131

Re: Garrett Planning Network experiences

I had good overall experiences with two here in the Twin Cities. Some try to get your money under management because that's about the only way to survive. The one who was pure fee for service had to leave to work for a major financial firm. I think there are so few because it's a very tough business.
by Northster
Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is a Donor Advised Fund worth it? (Strategy)
Replies: 30
Views: 2997

Re: Is a Donor Advised Fund worth it? (Strategy)

Like Hockey10 I put chunk into a DAF last year before tax law changed. A big advantage for me was the ability to donate anonymously. Before, if I donated say $300 to a charity, I was inundated with pleas to buy a charitable annuity. The fee deterred me for a time, but on balance I find it worth it.
by Northster
Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to evaluate charities to donate to?
Replies: 36
Views: 1872

Re: How to evaluate charities to donate to?

As for giving anonymously, I have the same concerns. The only way I see is a Donor Advised Fund, where you get the deduction up front and then disperse the money as you wish. The Vanguard minimum is rather high, but Fidelity lets you start with as little as $5000. There is an annual fee.
by Northster
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Difference in spouse’s age and asset allocation
Replies: 5
Views: 568

Re: Difference in spouse’s age and asset allocation

Personally I would consider retirement date as when she retires. I have a similar age gap with my spouse and my main concern was in delaying Social Security until 70. Seemed to me one of the few ways you can beat the actuaries, since she will likely benefit from the higher income much longer than I ...
by Northster
Tue May 15, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any experience with Blue Apron?
Replies: 34
Views: 3730

Re: Any experience with Blue Apron?

We tried it for a few months but just felt tied to it and dropped it. I would second concerns about waste and add that I found some of the meals a bit short on calories. As for using the recipes later, I found they often use 'secret' spice packages that might be hard to replicate.
by Northster
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA Guaranteed Annuity
Replies: 83
Views: 6588

Re: TIAA Guaranteed Annuity

Let me add another wrinkle. When I retired I began taking the interest from my TIAA Traditional because I was not ready to annuitize. Faced with a looming RMD at 70 I made a spreadsheet comparing an annuity with taking the RMD. While the annuity would bring in more income in the early years, the und...
by Northster
Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you determine what internet speed you need?
Replies: 32
Views: 2047

Re: How do you determine what internet speed you need?

I would say at least 30, but it will depend on your provider. I have 60 through Comcast and with a wireless connection I have seen actual tested speeds as low as 18. I have had problems with Netflix on weekend evenings. I have the luxury of an ethernet connection and when I switched to that things i...
by Northster
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jogging in the cold.
Replies: 50
Views: 4775

Re: Jogging in the cold.

I ran six miles a day for many years in Minnesota winters with no difficulty. I agree the key is a good nylon jacket to counter the wind. I found a turtleneck shirt was helpful in very cold conditions. On my hands I often wore a couple of old running socks -- great for wiping a drippy nose.
by Northster
Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will Vanguard/Fidelity automatically deduct QCD from RMD?
Replies: 27
Views: 3046

Re: Will Vanguard/Fidelity automatically deduct QCD from RMD?

In conversation with Vanguard I was told that they had to execute the QCD after a phone call from me, and that they would adjust the RMD at that time. In the end I chose a DAF instead, at least for now.
by Northster
Thu Dec 28, 2017 9:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Keeping a checkbook register
Replies: 122
Views: 10825

Re: Keeping a checkbook register

I too like to use a spreadsheet but the LibreOffice template seems pretty simplistic and is cluttered with '0.0' in empty balance cells. With a little programming that can be improved. Or you can find Excel code online.
by Northster
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?
Replies: 47
Views: 8301

Re: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?

Faced with leaving a large sum as an inheritance, likely when the recipients are middle-aged and may have already put a child through college I have decided to gift some of the money now when they need it more. It won't make a big dent in the final total but I think will have a more beneficial effec...
by Northster
Mon Oct 16, 2017 2:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?
Replies: 171
Views: 22668

Re: How does everyone keep track of your portfolio?

I too use a spreadsheet. One twist I found useful was to keep the number of shares in a separate sheet, where I can easily update them as needed. The main sheet then calls the cells in this share sheet to calculate the dollar value based on yesterdy'a price as pulled by the Google function.
by Northster
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Investments for benefit of Special Needs sibling...
Replies: 9
Views: 929

Re: Investments for benefit of Special Needs sibling...

I manage a SNT for my brother-in-law and have chosen the Vanguard Tax Managed Balanced Fund for him. About as simple as it gets and gives me the same 50/50 split of assets, though of course it lacks some of the tax exemption you have. Not sure how performance compares.
by Northster
Sun Sep 10, 2017 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Instead of a credit freeze, I want to receive a phone call before credit is opened in my name.
Replies: 26
Views: 3432

Re: Instead of a credit freeze, I want to receive a phone call before credit is opened in my name.

I was at the TransUnion site this morning and they offered a 90 day fraud alert which should result in a phone call any time an attempt is made to open an new account. They claimed they would also notify the other two services so they would do the same.
by Northster
Mon Sep 04, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with TIAA-CREF
Replies: 15
Views: 2336

Re: Help with TIAA-CREF

When I began investing TIAA/CREF was all I had available. Over the thirty years+ that I held them I think the CREF stock fund and TIAA Trad. performed reasonably well. They certainly want you to annuitize them, but as I neared retirement I rolled my CREF over into my IRA and for several years took a...
by Northster
Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old were you when you got your first credit card?
Replies: 46
Views: 3713

Re: How old were you when you got your first credit card?

I was 70. Always hated any form of debt or any encouragement to spend. Had to put down a deposit, but I'm rollin' now.
by Northster
Fri Jul 21, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 7829

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

I have had good service over the years. I found their legal teams particularly good at fending off nuisance claims being made on me and my mother.