Search found 1479 matches

by gd
Tue Jul 16, 2019 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Millionaire by 40 and How you Did it?
Replies: 197
Views: 29884

Re: Millionaire by 40 and How you Did it?

Seems to me the most common component here is luck. Lucky sperm club (inheritance, race, all aspects of upbringing), happening on a complementary spouse, location, fortuitous timing in career, RE, stock market. Not trying to diminish anyone, just noting that lots of people work hard and are frugal, ...
by gd
Mon Jul 15, 2019 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Survived the First Week [of retirement, what's next?]
Replies: 69
Views: 7738

Re: Survived the First Week [of retirement, what's next?]

Guilt and obligation should have no part in this. The only reason someone's indispensable is bad management, or (from my background in software R&D) doing a job inappropriately obscurely (and management doesn't catch it, as they should). Go back to work for some structure and community if you want, ...
by gd
Mon Jul 15, 2019 9:43 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you exchange VTSAX to VTI ??
Replies: 42
Views: 2902

Re: Would you exchange VTSAX to VTI ??

wootwoot wrote:
Sun Jul 14, 2019 12:09 pm
ETFs at Vanguard are just as easy as mutual funds, you'll see no difference other than lower fees. Save yourself some money and switch to the ETF.
You may not care about the differences, but not accurate.
https://investor.vanguard.com/etf/etf-vs-mutual-fund
by gd
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Grass-fed milk worth it?
Replies: 82
Views: 3916

Re: Is Grass-fed milk worth it?

It's about the treatment of cows for me, secondarily supporting the local or regional economy.
https://www.cornucopia.org/scorecard/dairy/
by gd
Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Potential opportunity in Germany - Needs relocation from US
Replies: 6
Views: 824

Re: Potential opportunity in Germany - Needs relocation from US

Agree with above, need more details. I'd guess you will not be as financially detached from US and attached to DE as you're envisioning. Lots of prior threads here on related topics. My long-ago experience was that it was essential to get assistance from the German company for everything from findin...
by gd
Sat Jul 06, 2019 5:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly grandparents moving in with parents; what should they plan for?
Replies: 63
Views: 4806

Re: Elderly grandparents moving in with parents; what should they plan for?

I would talk to the parents about hypothetical situations at which they'd agree limits can be set and alternatives found-- end games, excuse the expression. Example might be requiring qualified care for activities of daily life bringing outsiders into the house daily for most of the day. Not that it...
by gd
Thu Jul 04, 2019 8:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ImmediateAnnuities.com and Vanguard/Transamerica
Replies: 2
Views: 480

ImmediateAnnuities.com and Vanguard/Transamerica

I have not searched every corner of their web site, but there doesn't seem to be an obvious explanation of what determines which annuity companies immediateannuities.com covers. Anyone know why Vanguard's annuity partner Transamerica Premier does not appear to be covered by them? I believe they are ...
by gd
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 165
Views: 14502

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

If the backtested safe withdrawal rate is 4%, which is calculated on then-current dollars, which effectively makes it keep up with inflation, then it seems to me like you are giving up a lot of money for the guarantee of an annuity. Not worth it to me and I’d rather self insure. The point of an ann...
by gd
Sun Jun 30, 2019 6:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Hitting Critical Mass and then dealing with those feelings of Surreal
Replies: 51
Views: 6382

Re: Hitting Critical Mass and then dealing with those feelings of Surreal

I respect my frugality, thank it for its service, them move on. I started with lots of charitable donations, but tapered off for various reasons not relevant here. Stuff that I used to spend a lot of time on, such as operating low-end old cars, was an easy target by buying new moderate cars that wer...
by gd
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Just Bought an Annuity
Replies: 165
Views: 14502

Re: Just Bought an Annuity

Thanks to OP for this posting and the answers he has provided which have been very informative. I am now wondering what was the cost or commission of the New York Life SPIA versus other annuity providers such as Schwab, Fidelity, Vanguard, or TIAA-CREF. I know for sure that TIAA-CREF does operate i...
by gd
Sat Jun 29, 2019 6:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Siblings and Inherited Property
Replies: 53
Views: 6481

Re: Siblings and Inherited Property

Selling the house and splitting it four ways is definitely the cleanest way, but unfortunately, there is some sentimental value to keeping the house. Two sibling owners, with "sentimental value" involved in an investment property. You need a written agreement specifying when and how the partnership...
by gd
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Variable Annuity - Transitioning to Access Only Through Transamerica
Replies: 81
Views: 6613

Re: Vanguard Variable Annuity - Transitioning to Access Only Through Transamerica

This is amazing. We've got a VVA nearing its annuity date. We have not been sent anything about this. We called Vanguard a few weeks ago to get information about the annuitization options and not only were we not told about this, we were given a persistent and disruptive sales pitch to NOT annuitize...
by gd
Sat Jun 22, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The problem in retirement we rarely discuss [what to do with stock funds]
Replies: 58
Views: 6091

Re: The problem in retirement we rarely discuss [what to do with stock funds]

Pile-on with a little curiosity thrown in: the mildly-controversial est training (Erhard Sensitivity Training, google it) fad of the late 70s was quite good at manipulation by language to make their points about breaking free-- or at least being aware of-- of psychological conditioning. This would b...
by gd
Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Carryon luggage for international travel
Replies: 25
Views: 2317

Re: Carryon luggage for international travel

I've never had anyone check the size or weight of carry-on on dozens of transatlantic LH flights, in fact nowadays I can go round trip and never talk to an airline employee-- boarding pass from home or kiosk, gate is DIY bar code reader with agent standing off to side. I don't check bags, YMMV but I...
by gd
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any Aviation Medical Examiners out there?
Replies: 5
Views: 1374

Re: Any Aviation Medical Examiners out there?

If they send out letters it would be to everyone, not just certificated pilots. Sounds like DownToThis didn't get one, that's probably worth noting. Try asking AOPA and your own AME. I'd bet it's some sort of myth/rumor stemming from that flight surgeon event, and by many people's habit of taking ta...
by gd
Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: My Bad Experience With Angie's List
Replies: 36
Views: 4195

Re: My Bad Experience With Angie's List

Absolutely the worst tradesmen I've had were the top-rated Angie's List contractor/carpenter company in my area. They were bad in almost every respect-- skills, materials, knowledge, scheduling, honesty. Owner's business model was good Angie's List reviews. I totally fell for it. Ruined a year of my...
by gd
Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired at 35 and have no friends :(
Replies: 113
Views: 11183

Re: Retired at 35 and have no friends :(

How does a retired person in their mid 30's find peers in a similar situation? Taking you literally at "similar", you haven't actually explained what your situation is. Big inheritance? Go to a wealthy area and look for trust fund kids (personally, ick). Entrepreneur? My understanding is all those ...
by gd
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?
Replies: 24
Views: 2104

Re: Anyone recommend a cheap cell phone service for text and calls?

Nothing is cost effective if he can't use it. His abilities are the first consideration, not the cost. You haven't given any info about his prior experience and circumstances; it sounds like he does not have a mobile phone, or has a smart phone he cannot use. In that case I'd go with a flip phone an...
by gd
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:12 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Monte Carlo Simulation
Replies: 47
Views: 4015

Re: Monte Carlo Simulation

As I understand the term, Monte Carlo simulations use statistics of past behavior to provide estimates of future ranges. Given that financial markets are unlikely to be well-behaved statistical processes, I find MC unconvincing. I've no hard reason to think firecalc-style application of past market ...
by gd
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Burial Plot in advance
Replies: 53
Views: 2765

Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

I do a lot of work on Findagrave, and see that often. The sad cases are where the spouse's headstone has a blank space for the surviving spouse's name and details, but that spouse decides to be buried elsewhere. So Spouse 1 spends eternity being stood up. In my town's cemetery, it's not unheard of ...
by gd
Fri Jun 07, 2019 6:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Burial Plot in advance
Replies: 53
Views: 2765

Re: Buying Burial Plot in advance

The only time I recollect hearing about burial plots is extended family discussing what they're going to do with a plot purchased decades ago that no one now wants. Grown-up's Hot Potato game.
by gd
Fri Jun 07, 2019 5:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity payout rates and economic/investment climate
Replies: 13
Views: 839

Re: Annuity payout rates and economic/investment climate

Thanks all. To clarify, it was a question of current annuitization rates-- the contract tables are the minimum guaranteed rate of 4%, this week's quote was more like 6%, and is dependent on our ages and manner of payout. I'm still surprised at the sensitivity of payout to current rates. I'd been tra...
by gd
Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Annuity payout rates and economic/investment climate
Replies: 13
Views: 839

Annuity payout rates and economic/investment climate

My spouse has a Vanguard variable annuity, and we are considering annuitizing it and start payouts. For planning, we got an estimated payout amount early 2018, and again recently. This will be an amount determined at annuitization, and fixed for joint lives-- a good 20+ years. The accumulated value ...
by gd
Fri May 31, 2019 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health Coverage for Immigrant Parents
Replies: 16
Views: 2324

Re: Health Coverage for Immigrant Parents

I believe there is a work/contribution requirement in addition to the residency. Spouses might get around this, but wouldn't assume parents do. Some fuzzy details in this thread and I'm not intending the following be criticism of you, because I don't understand exactly what happened. But it is a goo...
by gd
Thu May 30, 2019 5:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question regarding the phrase "smart money"
Replies: 23
Views: 1635

Re: Question regarding the phrase "smart money"

You are taking language in general and journalism (in a broad sense, anything published for the public) way too literally. There are a few people who use language very precisely, and they often do not have smooth sailing in their interpersonal relationships. There are a few more people who use it pr...
by gd
Tue May 28, 2019 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Alternatives to Facebook for small organizations
Replies: 2
Views: 198

Alternatives to Facebook for small organizations

One of the reasons Facebook is so widespread is that it provides an easy, free way for small organizations to establish a dynamic web presence without the effort of a standalone web site. Increasing numbers of people refuse to use Facebook now. This is a problem for small volunteer and non-profit gr...
by gd
Mon May 27, 2019 8:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Elderly Parent's Home In Need of Major Repairs
Replies: 44
Views: 4024

Re: Elderly Parent's Home In Need of Major Repairs

Old people often lose the ability to accept changes needed with age and circumstances, and are sometimes perfectly happy to let others go crazy trying to give them a life exactly as they'd wish it regardless of practicality. Decide what you all can do and how far you're willing to go to accommodate ...
by gd
Sun May 26, 2019 5:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Meaning of "high/low tolerance" in precision engineering
Replies: 12
Views: 927

Re: Meaning of "high/low tolerance" in precision engineering

Irregardless, people know what it means.
by gd
Sat May 25, 2019 5:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Low Flow Shower Heads
Replies: 11
Views: 1157

Re: Low Flow Shower Heads

2.5 gph is not a low flow shower head. To your question, I purchased a Niagara handheld, added an inline shutoff valve (which should leave a slight trickle) and immediately bought another, quite happy with both years later.
by gd
Fri May 24, 2019 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Protecting assets against frivolous litigations
Replies: 24
Views: 4988

Re: Protecting assets against frivolous litigations

Contrary to the propoganda, lawyers don't file frivolous lawsuits. Most cases are taken on a contingency fee basis and one-third or 40% of nothing is nothing. I've been a litigator for 26 years and I've never seen or heard of a single frivolous lawsuit in that time. The aviation world has examples ...
by gd
Tue May 07, 2019 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I tried to fire my financial advisor of 12 years today...
Replies: 127
Views: 13693

Re: I tried to fire my financial advisor of 12 years today...

I also agree that he made a lot of money off of me for doing very little. I will add that without him, I wouldn’t be in the advantageous financial situation I’m in. He actually whipped my ass in shape to start saving and put together a solid plan for saving. I was spending frivolously when I met hi...
by gd
Tue May 07, 2019 6:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I tried to fire my financial advisor of 12 years today...
Replies: 127
Views: 13693

Re: I tried to fire my financial advisor of 12 years today...

His/your numbers are meaningless out of context. Using backtesting with something like Portfolio Visualizer, how do they compare with your intended plan? How do they compare with your intended plan after you pay the capital gains taxes? This may be difficult to do clearly if you've got a lot of in-a...
by gd
Sun May 05, 2019 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Corp Fund
Replies: 20
Views: 2330

Re: High Yield Corp Fund

For example in the 2008/2009 crash the NAV of the fund dropped a little below $4 but the yield % went up to over !4%. (you mean 14%?) Isn't this an arithmetic artifact? With constant dollar/share income, if share price drops, current yield goes up, clickbaiters & marketeers go to work. I've been us...
by gd
Thu May 02, 2019 8:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Areas similar to Jungfrau region in terms of transportation
Replies: 23
Views: 1624

Re: Areas similar to Jungfrau region in terms of transportation

I'm going with... anywhere in Germany. For example, the Allgaeu region in southern central Germany offers a 7 or 14 day pass that gives unlimited cable car rides for 5 or so cable cars, bus service to all of them, and admission to a few other attractions such as ski jumps and gorges. E.g take a bus ...
by gd
Mon Apr 29, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Target Date Funds doing it backwards?
Replies: 44
Views: 4899

Re: Target Date Funds doing it backwards?

He's realized the financial marketing niche of "aggressive investing to catch up" is full, and playing the contrarian angle of "watch out, you can't afford to lose much". And he's right. They're all right. You can find an example proving about anything you want, when working with a system (financial...
by gd
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Foreign property/family issue
Replies: 31
Views: 1606

Re: Foreign property/family issue

Keep it on the level of a financial transaction. He's asking you to essentially be his financial partner. That gives you the right to know his finances in detail. Do your due diligence. It also gives you the right to bring your own financial priorities into the discussion-- e.g. if you do not invest...
by gd
Tue Apr 23, 2019 6:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Neighbors sump pump pipe on my property
Replies: 25
Views: 3082

Re: Neighbors sump pump pipe on my property

Agree specific answers are GIGO, since you don't disclose your location. But it's your neighbor who *needs* an easement from you for his protection and should be worrying about all this. For you it'll be a black mark and constraint against the free use of your property; you might argue you're better...
by gd
Mon Apr 22, 2019 1:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [2018 tax return - How does it compare to previous years?]
Replies: 441
Views: 31538

Re: How did you feel about your 2018 tax returns?

nisiprius wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 12:19 pm
I think the purpose of this whole stupid charade must be to justify blocking ReadyReturn, the California pilot experiment, in which people got their tax forms with all of the information known to the IRS already filled in.
Google taxes on postcard.
by gd
Tue Apr 02, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Pilots...advice
Replies: 57
Views: 5506

Re: Boglehead Pilots...advice

Ah geez, wanted to go to bed in the next hour.... actually some pretty good advice here. Not entirely. I'll start with my usual BH reply, which is that if you don't disclose where you are, some of the advice given you is marginal. Garbage in, garbage out. 200/hr for instruction is pretty reasonable,...
by gd
Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:21 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any *disadvantages* to citizenship?
Replies: 74
Views: 3859

Re: Any *disadvantages* to citizenship?

Actually, no that's not it. You also have to notify the IRS. Tax obligations don't end when your permanent residency does. This is not accurate. Your tax obligations as a US person end the moment you give back the Green Card. What remains are *filing* requirements, but notifying the IRS is simple (...
by gd
Fri Mar 29, 2019 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2012 Honda Fit MPG issue
Replies: 50
Views: 3416

Re: 2012 Honda Fit MPG issue

Just filled up at my new Mobil station. Thanks so much for all the advice. I'll let you know how it goes! ? You already tried a few tanks of BP. https://www.yourmechanic.com/article/which-gas-stations-have-the-best-quality-gas Taking your foot off the accelerator at speed should peg the Fit MPG bar...
by gd
Thu Mar 28, 2019 7:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2012 Honda Fit MPG issue
Replies: 50
Views: 3416

Re: 2012 Honda Fit MPG issue

Until about 7 months ago, I was getting, reliably 25 MPG city (New York, brutal for cars) and about 35 MPG highway. ... Took the car into my long time, very reliable mechanic who seemed oddly unconcerned. He says that he checked all the obvious stuff, stuck wheels, tire pressure; spark plugs were c...
by gd
Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What am I doing wrong on my return?
Replies: 3
Views: 724

Re: What am I doing wrong on my return?

Reading and posting quickly, not a good idea with anything relating to 1116, and I don't use multiple categories, but- aren't the categories just used to determine the percentage of whatever that category's taxes can then be applied to all income? All the categories are added in section 4 without fu...
by gd
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?
Replies: 74
Views: 6438

Re: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?

Looking at the image again, knowing it's opposite the toilet, looking at those drippy lines... pull the plug, man.
by gd
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?
Replies: 74
Views: 6438

Re: How to Sell a Wyland Painting on My Bathroom Wall?

It's not a very elaborate work, probably cheaper to commission him to paint another piece of sheetrock than preserve it.
If that makes you think "what? no.", well, there's your answer.
by gd
Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:40 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving assets to an online account
Replies: 8
Views: 991

Re: Moving assets to an online account

More will soon reply describing more of above, about posting portfolios, working out your goals, and stuff. I'm making a comment on a side point above-- I'd want to understand exactly how that low performance occurred before deciding where to go. Evil stockbroker/brokerage, honest miscommunication o...
by gd
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends vs Total Return
Replies: 52
Views: 4001

Re: Dividends vs Total Return

I was recently given responsibility for managing a cluttered active brokerage account designed for income, much as you're suggesting. As an aside, a careful analysis showed that over 25 years, it performed about the same as a 50/50 index solution, worse than 60/40. My current time-sink is trying to...
by gd
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Surprised on tax benefit after first year as landlord!
Replies: 20
Views: 3475

Re: Surprised on tax benefit after first year as landlord!

I was surprised at how little was taxable. I expect to be similarly surprised at how much is taxable when the property is sold.
by gd
Sun Mar 24, 2019 7:15 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What to do when client doesn't pay and ignores you?
Replies: 29
Views: 3620

Re: What to do when client doesn't pay and ignores you?

Phone calls, texts and emails can be disputed as never received for lots of common reasons. I would not consider small claims court without evidence of attempts to reach them by certified mail, with a signature receipt. If that is returned undelivered, do it again without a signature required just f...
by gd
Sat Mar 23, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividends vs Total Return
Replies: 52
Views: 4001

Re: Dividends vs Total Return

I was recently given responsibility for managing a cluttered active brokerage account designed for income, much as you're suggesting. As an aside, a careful analysis showed that over 25 years, it performed about the same as a 50/50 index solution, worse than 60/40. My current time-sink is trying to ...