Search found 141 matches

by RobertAlanK
Wed Sep 24, 2014 10:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best place to buy lab cultured/created/synthetic loose gems?
Replies: 2
Views: 696

Re: Best place to buy lab cultured/created/synthetic loose g

About 3 years ago I ordered a lab grown alexandrite rectangular cut from Geolite http://www.geolite.com/default.htm in Colorado. It was for a ring I was having made and I've been very happy with it.
by RobertAlanK
Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 255
Views: 30482

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Since Wool was mentioned several times, I was wondering if anyone read either of the sequels--Shift and Dust. Yes, I enjoyed all three volumes of what I believe is called the Silo Saga. Wool certainly could stand on its own as a great story. But I thought Hugh Howey's technique of following it with...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Sep 02, 2014 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 2956
Views: 866241

Re: Ghostbusters

Harold Ramis did a lot of research into extra sensory phenomena and put it into the movie. Although personally they fell out pretty badly I gather, the Ramis-Murray combination ( Groundhog Day ) was amazingly creative. I recall reading that Bill Murray visited Harold Ramis not long before Ramis die...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Sep 01, 2014 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 2956
Views: 866241

Re: What Movie Have You [Recently] Watched?

I recently saw A Most Wanted Man, based on the novel by John le Carre. It is an enjoyable film about contemporary intelligence work set in Hamburg. I found it fascinating to watch Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a bit sad to know it was his final performance.
by RobertAlanK
Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cell phone control devices for teen drivers?
Replies: 36
Views: 3016

Re: Cell phone control devices for teen drivers?

I've enjoyed the back-and-forth of opinions on this topic. My daughter is only seven now but it makes me wonder how technology will have solved some issues like this by the time she's driving but will have created brand new ones that will keep me up at night.
by RobertAlanK
Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Do you own corporate bonds?
Replies: 36
Views: 3362

Re: POLL: Do you own corporate bonds?

I like its duration and its risk. I also like that it has an ETF share class and an Admiral share class, so that I can have it in accounts at various brokers without any commissions. Besides having the ETF option, are there other advantages or disadvantages to holding the Short-Term Corporate Index...
by RobertAlanK
Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Late starters: what age did you start investing?
Replies: 94
Views: 14077

Re: Late starters: what age did you start investing?

My first real investment was in my late 20's when my ex-wife and I bought shares in one front-load mutual fund. Then came grad school and divorce after which I was back to square one. In my late 30's, my father died and left me about $60K from a life insurance policy. I opened up a Merrill Lynch acc...
by RobertAlanK
Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: It is time to retire when you .......
Replies: 104
Views: 12706

Re: It is time to retire when you .......

I retired (at 72) when my health dictated that it was time. If it were my choice I would still be working (at 74). I was one of the lucky people that enjoyed work immensely. In my 58 years of working I cannot think of a dozen days that I didn't wake up looking forward to going to work. Then I think...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Apr 30, 2014 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: SSA.gov online calculator and unexpected numbers
Replies: 12
Views: 1072

Re: SSA.gov online calculator and unexpected numbers

This was confusing to me when using the AnyPIA detailed calculator. My FRA is 66 and birthday is at the end of December. I do plan to delay taking my benefit and after reading the AnyPIA user manual it finally became clear that I would get a slight increase if I decide to start to take it in January...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?
Replies: 57
Views: 5163

Re: Do you have hardwood or tile in your kitchen?

I pulled up ugly ceramic tile and installed strand bamboo flooring in my kitchen two years ago. I used the same flooring I had previously installed in the other rooms on our main level. These bamboo floors are three times harder than oak and have held up very well to heavy traffic from dogs and an a...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Mar 25, 2014 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching Kids Money Management (under age 10)
Replies: 11
Views: 1392

Re: Teaching Kids Money Management (under age 10)

Some ideas I have include giving them 2 or 3 different piggy banks (decorated glass jars) for saving. 1 jar for spending and saving for 'wants', another jar for saving (long term saving). When they get money they can put it in either jar, but for all the money that goes in the saving jar, I will ad...
by RobertAlanK
Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Children: Are they worth every penny?
Replies: 68
Views: 6432

Re: Children: Are they worth every penny?

I was watching the NBC News a couple of weeks ago and their medical expert (Nancy Sneiderman, MD) mentioned that because of genetic issues men over the age of 45 should seriously consider not fathering anymore children. I would research that issue if I were you. Just sayin'. This may be the study t...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Get ready for the Dow at 6,000 by 2016: Pro
Replies: 46
Views: 7177

Re: Get ready for the Dow at 6,000 by 2016: Pro

"So this is it...we're all going to die!" Arthur Dent (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) said that, not Harry Dent. But Harry Dent could have. I suppose a major financial crisis could be set off if there's panic about a proposed hyperspace bypass in this vicinity. Though I'm not sure norm...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do children become less expensive as they grow up?
Replies: 93
Views: 9782

Re: Do children become less expensive as they grow up?

There are some wonderful recollections expressed here. My daughter just turned seven and this gives me some things to consider.

And also much to look forward to experiencing as she grows.
by RobertAlanK
Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signing up for SS before 70
Replies: 60
Views: 4847

Re: Signing up for SS before 70

My theory is that delaying till 70 should be good for the health and longevity of a Boglehead. Delaying till 70 is basically a bet that you will live to 85 or so. Having committed to this bet, a Boglehead would be super-motivated to maintain healthy habits, since he/she would particularly hate losi...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Aug 07, 2013 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Jetta Sportwagen Question
Replies: 42
Views: 6249

Re: Jetta Sportwagen Question

I have a 2005 Jetta TDI wagon that I bought new. At the time of purchase, diesel fuel was actually less expensive than regular gas, but that situation reversed within the first year or so and now I pay a 10-15% premium. But I put very little mileage on my TDI, 55K miles at last count. So, cost of fu...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Jul 17, 2013 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing
Replies: 28
Views: 5039

Re: What George Constanza has to teach us about investing

dmcmahon wrote:I thought the article was going to be on shrinkage.

My first thought too. I worry about what this says about our perspective. :happy
by RobertAlanK
Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: hardwood floors and area rugs
Replies: 30
Views: 7647

Re: hardwood floors and area rugs

I've had a slightly different issue using an area rug on my hardwood floors. After 6 years the sun shining through my windows has changed the color of my hardwood a little except under the rug, so I now have "two shades" of hardwood floors. Maybe I should have kept my windows really dirty...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childrens' Allowance
Replies: 71
Views: 8350

Re: Childrens' Allowance

We started an allowance for our daughter when she turned six at the beginning of this year. The initial amount is $6 per week. While the amount matches her current age, I don't think we'll increase it every year but as it seems appropriate (maybe every 2 or 3 years during elementary school?). It's n...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you Walking in your Father's footsteps?
Replies: 83
Views: 10011

Re: Are you Walking in your Father's footsteps?

This was a particularly interesting and poignant question for me to consider. My father was a successful business man for most of his career. He rose to the top of the leadership of a national non-profit organization, testified before Congress, had friends in the President’s office and was invited t...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:56 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Withdrawal Rates For Real Retirees
Replies: 79
Views: 7000

Re: POLL: Withdrawal Rates For Real Retirees

It would be interesting to see the poll results from only those retirees without a pension, or perhaps asking respondents to estimate what their withdrawal rate might be if they didn't have that income stream. I understand that many of those who anticipated having a pension in retirement made differ...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Money Lessons From 'Downton Abbey'
Replies: 23
Views: 3805

Re: Money Lessons From 'Downton Abbey'

The lesson I took away: Nothing good comes from having a child.
by RobertAlanK
Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pleated Pants Versus Flat Front Pants
Replies: 45
Views: 5395

Re: Pleated Pants Versus Flat Front Pants

Congratulations on your weight loss! That is impressive.

I haven't purchased a pair of pleated pants in more than a decade. Never have a problem finding a variety of flat front pants at the big retailers. Dockers, for example, makes several pant styles/fabrics/finishes in flat front.

Happy shopping!
by RobertAlanK
Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Disappointment while shopping for a new fridge
Replies: 44
Views: 5762

Re: Disappointment while shopping for a new fridge

We just ordered a Whirlpool french door, bottom freezer model that is to be delivered tomorrow. I did a fair bit of research online, but didn't have access to CR. What did carry the most weight was the advice of the repair guy who tried vainly for a couple weeks to get our 9-year-old GE side-by-side...
by RobertAlanK
Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?
Replies: 237
Views: 28073

Re: How much do you expect your kids to pay for college?

They will probably pay 30k/yr; total of 120k But I will not pay for them. I will do everything to set them up academically to succeed (i.e. good middle/HS helping them get scholarships). Then they will take out loans to cover the rest and learn financial responsibility of having debt. My preference...
by RobertAlanK
Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion income and MAGI
Replies: 5
Views: 1232

Re: Roth conversion income and MAGI

This is a good indication how MAGI definitions vary. Roth conversion income is INCLUDED in your MAGI for purposes of deducting a TIRA contribution, ie the conversion makes it more likely you will not be able to deduct the contribution. On the other hand, the conversion income is NOT INCLUDED in the...
by RobertAlanK
Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion income and MAGI
Replies: 5
Views: 1232

Re: Roth conversion income and MAGI

Thanks for the replies.
by RobertAlanK
Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion income and MAGI
Replies: 5
Views: 1232

Roth conversion income and MAGI

I'm confused by a possible contradiction in the Wiki information on whether income from the conversion of a Traditional IRA to Roth IRA is included in calculating modified adjusted gross income (MAGI). The Wiki for Traditional IRA's says to deduct the conversion income from one's adjusted gross inco...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What was your 2012 return?
Replies: 275
Views: 25063

Re: What was your 2012 return?

M* shows that I had a 2012 personal return of 11.94%. That's on a 55/35/10 (stock/bond/cash) portfolio.

Happy 2013 everyone!
by RobertAlanK
Fri Oct 26, 2012 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: North Carolina residents: property tax on cars
Replies: 44
Views: 5610

Re: North Carolina residents: property tax on cars

I live in Durham, NC. My property taxes on a 2012 MINI S Countryman and a 2005 VW Jetta diesel wagon are $450 per year. It's really not a big issue for my family finances.
by RobertAlanK
Tue Oct 09, 2012 8:54 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?
Replies: 100
Views: 9876

Re: *Sorry for asking* Is this forum biased?

I find this forum to be opinionated, but not biased. And I continue to come here for the opinions because they typically provide me with different perspectives on investing and all manner of other issues of daily life that affect my personal and financial well-being. I often find that I've read many...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Important is Car Waxing?
Replies: 32
Views: 5214

Re: How Important is Car Waxing?

What is a clay bar??? As it sounds, it's a bar of maleable clay used, generally with a cleaning solution, to detail the exterior paint finish. It's particularly useful for removing stubborn dirt and contaminants that have stuck to or imbedded into the paint surface (bugs, tar, tree sap, etc). I've ...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any New Zealand tips?
Replies: 23
Views: 2023

Re: Any New Zealand tips?

I spent a couple of weeks in New Zealand in 1993 and it was a very memorable trip. I hope to go back with my wife and daughter. I spent virtually the entire time on the South Island. My most memorable experience was swimming with dusky dolphins in the ocean off Kaikoura, north of Christchurch. Now, ...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone use HDTV free air over cable?
Replies: 73
Views: 9467

Re: Anyone use HDTV free air over cable?

We made the switch earlier this year from cable TV to OTA with a rooftop antenna. We also get Netflix streaming service with a Roku box. My home is 36 miles from the primary network broadcast towers (near Raleigh, NC), but in a heavily wooded lot so there's a good bit of signal degradation from leav...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When did you start to save a regular significant amount?
Replies: 81
Views: 13569

Re: When did you start to save a regular significant amount?

Unlike many or most folks here, I didn't get started seriously saving until I was 47, about 10 years ago now. Before then, money had never been an issue in my life. Not that I had been wealthy but rather I always felt that I had enough and would be able to continue to feel that way all my life. I wa...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Aug 20, 2012 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?
Replies: 21
Views: 4608

Re: Pay taxes now or defer as long as possible?

Why is it commonly advised to avoid RMDs? Is it so one can have converted to ROTH IRAs instead? Otherwise why would it matter? My understanding (I'm not there yet) is that RMDs can push people into a higher bracket. So if you can get money out of IRA at 15% now, that would be preferable to leaving ...
by RobertAlanK
Sun Aug 19, 2012 8:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Confused about withdrawl of Roth Conversion
Replies: 13
Views: 1773

Re: Confused abour withdrawl of Roth Conversion

http://www.irs.gov/publications/p590/ch02.html#en_US_2011_publink1000231064 The way I read the flowchart (Figure 2-1) in sscritic's provided link (above) if you haven't waited 5 years since the initial conversion then a withdrawal is not not qualified. The flowchart works well if you answer in such...
by RobertAlanK
Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Post your AA
Replies: 135
Views: 19348

Re: Post your AA

Age: 57, plan to retire at 70
US Equity: 29.5% (88/12 Total Mkt/SCV)
US REIT: 6.25%
Int'l. Equity: 19.25% (75/25 Developed/Small)
Inflation Bonds: 25.0% (50/50 TIPS/I-Bonds)
Nominal Bonds: 12.5%
Cash: 7.5%
by RobertAlanK
Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed to help invest excess income
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Re: Advice needed to help invest excess income

I would suggest Option #3 "Use excess monthly income to make additional principal payments on my mortgage." How much is your current monthly mortgage payment? Do you plan to stay in this house during retirement? Paying the mortgage off gives not only a "peace of mind" advantage,...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed to help invest excess income
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Re: Advice needed to help invest excess income

Are you already making Roth IRA contributions for you and your non-working spouse? No, we are not. We do have a small Roth IRA of about $8K currently. I didn't include making regular Roth contributions as an option because it seems that going the conversion route would build that account balance fa...
by RobertAlanK
Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice needed to help invest excess income
Replies: 7
Views: 1086

Advice needed to help invest excess income

Hello all. I will receive a raise at July 1 and hope to not spend it. I’d appreciate opinions on which of the following strategies would be the preferred use of $425-450 per month of excess earned income in my retirement planning. If there are better options I may not have considered, please share t...
by RobertAlanK
Tue May 29, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: On growing old
Replies: 71
Views: 10786

Re: On growing old

I’ve been thinking about mortality a great deal in the last few days. My younger sister who lives 800 miles away recently ended more than 25 years of sobriety with a descent into depression and drugs. She has lost her job and soon she will likely be homeless on her way to re-visiting life’s bottomla...
by RobertAlanK
Thu Apr 26, 2012 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top five regrets of the dying
Replies: 83
Views: 10002

Re: Top five regrets of the dying

Hi, Here is a great film about what a man does when he learns he is going to die: m On a similar but perhaps opposite track, another great film that asks us to ponder our lives is After Life, a 1998 Japanese film by Hirokazu Koreeda. In this film, the recently deceased arrive in a way station where...
by RobertAlanK
Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will You Have 35 Years of SS Contributions?
Replies: 59
Views: 5379

Re: Will You Have 35 Years of SS Contributions?

A related question - Does anyone know why the SSA stops indexing annual wages in the year the wage earner turns 60? I just find that curious but can't imagine it would be arbitrary.
by RobertAlanK
Fri Mar 30, 2012 2:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What should I do when I win the $500M lottery?
Replies: 68
Views: 5882

Re: What should I do when I win the $500M lottery?

Do you think Jack Bogle would accept a call from the winner? That would be high on my list after visiting the safety deposit box. Maybe wbern too. question for ddb, after your foundation sheltered $194M from income tax, what would you do with the $194M? For the $194 million in the Foundation...I fi...
by RobertAlanK
Fri Mar 16, 2012 2:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Current equivalent to a Taurus car?
Replies: 44
Views: 3804

Re: Current equivalent to a Taurus car?

Consulting my chart, I believe the natural progression from the Taurus would be the Ford Gemini but I can't find it in their inventory anywhere. :P
by RobertAlanK
Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I love being 50/50
Replies: 42
Views: 4762

Re: Why I love being 50/50

Excellent points about the psychological factors involved in determining risk tolerance and then an appropriate asset allocation. I've certainly found that it feels more difficult to maintain the same steady attitude as my portfolio size has grown. The thought of a 25% or greater drop compares psyc...
by RobertAlanK
Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New article in Journal of Indexes, on magical thinking
Replies: 23
Views: 3104

Re: New article in Journal of Indexing, on magical thinking

larryswedroe wrote:Highly recommend the books I cited. All provide excellent insights into the way we think.
Best wishes
Larry

Hmmm. After reading your article I wonder if it's safe to take your recommendation. :wink:
by RobertAlanK
Wed Mar 14, 2012 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why I love being 50/50
Replies: 42
Views: 4762

Re: Why I love being 50/50

75/25, 50/50, 25/75 are meaningfully different portfolios. I'm becoming less and less convinced that making finer distinctions than that is meaningful. One of these days I'll find out for sure where the magic 60/40 comes from, but I believe it may be straight from Harry Markowitz's 1950s work and i...