Search found 51 matches

by cantabtim
Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fed up With Flagship
Replies: 291
Views: 19420

Re: Fed up With Flagship

I've never had any problem dealing with Fidelity, with a series of 401k plans and, most recently, a transfer to them of an HSA. That said, despite living in Greater Boston and within walking distance of several of their downtown headquarters buildings, I've never had cause to call them let alone wal...
by cantabtim
Tue Sep 29, 2020 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Contribute to HSA and invest - but with high fees?
Replies: 13
Views: 635

Re: Contribute to HSA and invest - but with high fees?

HSAs seem to be (one of) the last corners of the financial industry not motivated to reduce fees and improve service due to competition. I had an HSA with a relatively modest balance (less than $30K) to which I had been unable to contribute for several years as I was no longer in a high deductible p...
by cantabtim
Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?
Replies: 140
Views: 13588

Re: Is it worth to relocate for retirement?

Normally I would say no but you mentioned the Tax-assachusetts state which would be a yes in my book. I'm a resident of Massachusetts. Although I would not characterize it as a low-tax state, our major sources of retirement income are not taxed at the state level. These are my military pension and ...
by cantabtim
Thu Aug 20, 2020 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are emergency funds for suckers?
Replies: 202
Views: 16064

Re: Are emergency funds for suckers?

Are emergency funds for suckers? Only until you need one. Or as Warren Buffett described “you find out who’s been swimming naked when the tide pulls out”. All insurance is a waste of money until you have to make a claim. Only a very few of the oldest Bogleheads remember the great depression, but ma...
by cantabtim
Thu Aug 13, 2020 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?
Replies: 205
Views: 13742

Re: Who is your favorite fiction author and what is your favorite book of theirs?

The Bernie Gunther series (starting with the trilogy Berlin Noir) by Philip Kerr. IMO, they’re better than Raymond Chandler and Micky Spillane. Takes place in 1930’s – 1950’s Germany against a background of Nazi takeover and defeat. The protagonist is a cynical ex-cop turned PI named Bernie Gunther...
by cantabtim
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The death of nominal bonds? All Weather without bonds?
Replies: 119
Views: 8221

Re: The death of nominal bonds? All Weather without bonds?

Boglehead philosophy is the definition of "all weather". You set your asset allocation, record it in your IPS (some Bogleheads probably have it on papyrus or a stone tablet, but mine was created on an albeit early version of Excel) and stick with it through all weather. The only changes sh...
by cantabtim
Mon Jul 20, 2020 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dark side of Pretax 401Ks and IRAs
Replies: 90
Views: 8535

Re: Dark side of Pretax 401Ks and IRAs

I just invest in all three and worry about the details later. Backdoor Roth, pretax 401k, mega backdoor Roth 401k, HSA, taxable. Whatever happens in my life and with tax policy, I'll probably be able to work it out. Along with several other posters, this is exactly where we've ended up, and just 3 ...
by cantabtim
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: BankDirect vs Bask
Replies: 9
Views: 591

Re: BankDirect vs Bask

The uncertainty around the future of any airline and the ability for them to alter the terms of or even cancel their frequent flyer program, not to mention my own reduced appetite for air travel makes me question the validity of comparing air miles to any amount of cash interest right now. AAdvantag...
by cantabtim
Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cut cable experience
Replies: 34
Views: 2736

Re: Cut cable experience

We have zero interest in Sports, which I know is a high-cost item, but find we have more than enough to watch with an antenna and whatever will stream for free over our cheapest possible cable internet service (I agree with the poster above that, certainly for the one TV we have, the slowest interne...
by cantabtim
Thu Jul 09, 2020 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancelling my disability insurance?
Replies: 9
Views: 938

Re: Cancelling my disability insurance?

Is it crazy to keep paying your premium for private disability insurance after you retire? We're both planning on retiring at the end of this October, at ages 57 and 56. Obviously if you are voluntarily retired you don't need the income from employment, but 57 and 56 are ages where becoming disabled...
by cantabtim
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to analyze having a paid-off mortgage in retirement?
Replies: 104
Views: 6634

Re: How to analyze having a paid-off mortgage in retirement?

A lot of this is a dupe of Watty's post, but I'll post it anyway... While working, I don't see any real advantage for most people to have a paid off house. It really depends on interest rates, the terms of the mortgage, and the investment environment. For a retiree who is living mostly off of inves...
by cantabtim
Wed Jul 01, 2020 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity mega backdoor roth not easy?
Replies: 19
Views: 1198

Re: Fidelity mega backdoor roth not easy?

You may be able to automatically roll after-tax contributions into a Roth 401k. You'll probably have the same funds to choose from as your pretax 401k. And you might have to allocate all of the funds the same way. This is not ideal since it's generally considered better to put high growth investmen...
by cantabtim
Mon May 11, 2020 5:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: post covid 19 office work - was coronavirus a game changer for telecommunting?
Replies: 48
Views: 3905

Re: post covid 19 office work - was coronavirus a game changer for telecommunting?

What makes WFH attractive to many people is not dislike of the atmosphere of the office but dislike of the commute to get there. I gave up commuting 20 years ago by dumping an employer in a suburban office park for one with a downtown office to which I could walk from my home. My husband also can wa...
by cantabtim
Fri May 08, 2020 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?
Replies: 132
Views: 8943

Re: Percentage of savings to "prepping"?

As in so many things it comes down to moderation and common sense. Six months of food is hoarding and means, if you rotate the stock, that you never eat anything fresh. A few days or a couple of weeks of food is sensible planning for the snowstorm/hurricane/earthquake (depending on your locale) that...
by cantabtim
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: So bottom is probably behind us....right?
Replies: 709
Views: 65006

Re: So bottom is probably behind us....right?

I know nothing about whether we've hit bottom. Yes, the market is supposed to be forward looking and yes the market doesn't care about the tragedy of people dying (unless its a number that materially effects demand - and I hope we're looking at <1% of the population not 10%). But I think the real re...
by cantabtim
Mon Mar 16, 2020 3:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Who is continuing to buy as planned?
Replies: 119
Views: 8448

Re: Who is continuing to buy as planned?

Was planning to retire later this year so the timing is not ideal. But we have 50/50 allocation plus 2-3 years of expenses in boring cash (half in a CD ladder averaging 2.5% and half in online savings paying 1%) so unless total armageddon strikes I think we will still finish at the end of July. I di...
by cantabtim
Fri Nov 01, 2019 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?
Replies: 196
Views: 14390

Re: Apple Pay. Does anyone use it?

Agree that for the London Underground, Bus, Overground and mainline trains within the "Oyster" area, contactless (which for most US folks means Apple Pay or the Google equivalent) is transformational. Somehow the technology automatically monitors how much you have spent and does the daily ...
by cantabtim
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article on [US citizens] retiring Panama....
Replies: 8
Views: 1107

Re: Article on [US citizens] retiring Panama....

Well, yes, there is that. From Boston flying to Madrid is only 6-7 hrs, and there is non-stop service. Panama would mean transferring somewhere and take longer. And as for more southern parts of Latin America....... If you are starting from Florida or CA though the calculation is different. But if y...
by cantabtim
Fri Aug 23, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article on [US citizens] retiring Panama....
Replies: 8
Views: 1107

Re: Article on [US citizens] retiring Panama....

Why go to Panama (or Costa Rica, or Belize or whatever the latest "perfect" Latin American retirement destination might be) when you could go to Spain? Beautiful, stable, great weather with lots of variety by region, you can drink the tap water, the trains run on time, the healthcare is se...
by cantabtim
Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pretty much broke --- what would you advise?
Replies: 85
Views: 10441

Re: Pretty much broke --- what would you advise?

Job prospects are grim. Have you applied at McDonald's? They'll hire anyone. I doubt you did since most people only want to work in an office, work their 9-5, and set their out of the office reply. The only reason the job prospects are grim is because everyone wants to work in an office and nobody ...
by cantabtim
Wed Mar 27, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paid off mortgage!
Replies: 88
Views: 8598

Re: Paid off mortgage!

As has oft been said by the wise people on this forum, mortgage payoff is measured in more than just dollars and cents (and that IS a strange thing to say on a financially oriented forum!) For many people there is a peace of mind and change of outlook that comes with knowing you are free of that bur...
by cantabtim
Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to evaluate a pay package of a startup
Replies: 14
Views: 1706

Re: How to evaluate a pay package of a startup

I joined a tech startup in May 2000 at the age of 37 having got burned out with 14 years at mega-corp. It was a pay cut of 25% but seemed exciting. We weathered the 2001 dotcom crash by firing 75% of the staff (not me!) and had a lot of fun being reasonably successful and growing to 100 people throu...
by cantabtim
Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 1324
Views: 174915

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

Looking to retire end of 2019 when I will be 56 and my spouse 55, with about $3M. We'd do it now but retiree healthcare where he works is available only once you are 55 (and have put in 25 years of service, which he already has). We have no children, the condo is long ago paid off and cheap to run, ...
by cantabtim
Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?
Replies: 142
Views: 10652

Re: Physical Banking - Any benefits anymore?

I'm amazed there are so many B&M banks around our neighborhood; and they keep growing. A new bank branch in Harvard Sq. in just the last couple of months. I don't know how they can be justified as there's never anyone in them. I'm sure most of the students at the couple of small, no-name college...
by cantabtim
Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?
Replies: 43
Views: 3135

Re: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?

Also I just noticed a previous post that referenced "ATM fees". In my experience you can generally avoid them just by trying a few different banks. We were in Spain a couple of weeks ago (for about the 30th time in 10 years) and I found that many of the institutions named "Caja" ...
by cantabtim
Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?
Replies: 43
Views: 3135

Re: Traveling overseas .. credit cards? cash exchange?

I bank with a medium sized regular bank based here in Massachusetts. I don't think they're particularly special but their debit/ATM card has zero fees when used overseas and can of course also be used fee-free for getting cash at foreign ATMs. We've traveled dozens of times to W.Europe and Australia...
by cantabtim
Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Zipcar?
Replies: 9
Views: 1925

Re: Zipcar?

We went car free 10 yrs ago and never looked back. Its not JUST the money (though that is nice) but the huge weight of worry that's taken from your shoulders when you no longer have to think about maintenance, insurance, parking etc. OK, the "walkability" score of our home's location is so...
by cantabtim
Tue Dec 27, 2016 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turbo Tax 2016 purchase source
Replies: 91
Views: 19088

Re: Turbo Tax 2016 purchase source

I've not got TT to successfully efile my state return (MA) for the last 2 or 3 years. Its always rejected with "more than 4 entries in box DD" or something like that. Quite what my employer (a mega-corp now just acquired by a terra-corp) was doing with all the numbers for 401k, HSA, and wh...
by cantabtim
Sun May 31, 2015 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Ed Slott 'infomercial' on MPT [Maryland Public TV]
Replies: 21
Views: 5149

Re: Ed Slott 'infomercial' on MPT

This commentary may be a little harsh. Certainly Slott's nerdy but oddly compelling delivery style makes him entertainment, but he does have a few nuggets of wisdom. I read through his last book (in Boglehead style borrowed from the public library rather than purchased or as a PBS thank you gift) an...
by cantabtim
Sun Nov 23, 2014 7:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wire transfer from Europe (fees, exchange rate)
Replies: 16
Views: 2694

Re: Wire transfer from Europe (fees, exchange rate)

I had a similar situation, accessing from the US some money I had sitting in a UK bank account (I left the UK 20 years ago but various insurance policies etc. had paid out around 20,000 GBP). The best rate by far was just to use my UK ATM card in the US then deposit the greenbacks at my US bank. Of ...
by cantabtim
Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Apple Pay, Google Wallet, credit, and us
Replies: 108
Views: 14599

Re: Apple Pay, Google Wallet, credit, and us

The London underground (tube) allows you instead of using the NFC enabled card/ticket you purchase from their vending machines ("Oystercard", works the same way as "CharlieCard" in Boston, or "ClipperCard" in San Francisco) to skip the middle-man and pass through the fa...
by cantabtim
Sat Oct 18, 2014 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone cancelling travel plans?
Replies: 117
Views: 10542

Re: Anyone cancelling travel plans?

Goodness no, the thought hadn't crossed my mind. Call me fool hardy but unless something very dramatic happens in the next few weeks I'm taking trips to Utah, London, Salamanca Spain, Tenerife (what is the distance of the Canaries from Liberia - as the infected crow flies?), and Rome Italy. Hopefull...
by cantabtim
Sun Oct 12, 2014 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up
Replies: 74
Views: 10128

Re: Small Moneysavers Which Add Up

Interesting that only Ivyhedge has mentioned a huge costsaver; dump the car. We got rid of ours in 2007, and I only wish it were 10 years earlier. Of course Greater Boston is not the most difficult place to go car less, but my siblings still think I'm nuts. As well as saving the $, its also saved se...
by cantabtim
Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Choosing between Health Insurance Options
Replies: 11
Views: 1207

Re: Choosing between Health Insurance Options

It sounds like there are no children or dependents involved here and (maybe I'm reading too much into the term "gf") she is reasonably young. It seems a no brainer to go with the HDHP. The HSA tax benefit is a bonus but, even without that, a Boglehead principle is, surely, buy only the ins...
by cantabtim
Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip
Replies: 78
Views: 17090

Re: Riding the Rails--my Amtrak trip

NEC is cheating. Boston to DC is .... almost ... like a European real passenger railway. Well, if not European at least 1970s British Rail.
by cantabtim
Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Euros for a regular retail client
Replies: 20
Views: 5450

Re: Euros for a regular retail client

In San Sebastián (Spanish Basque Country) right now and used my regular ATM card this afternoon in one of the dozens of machines just in this neighborhood. Showing up on line already with an exchange rate of 1.367. With the exception of the Netherlands I have never had any trouble using a US ATM car...
by cantabtim
Thu Jun 05, 2014 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pin and Chip Cards coming to the US
Replies: 71
Views: 10100

Re: Pin and Chip Cards coming to the US

When I moved to the US in '94 (and subsequently became "naturalized" in '07) I kept my checking (or in British English, "Current") account with HSBC. I've been glad I did on several occasions over the intervening years. It's nearly impossible to open a UK account unless you are a...
by cantabtim
Sat Jan 04, 2014 6:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do I pay taxes today or when I retire?
Replies: 63
Views: 4601

Re: Do I pay taxes today or when I retire?

We don't know what tax rates will be a few months from now, let alone years or decades (depending on your age) from now when you might be withdrawing these retirement savings. Deferring taxes now and assuming we'll be taxed less when we retire is speculation. The tax-exempt status of Roth withdrawal...
by cantabtim
Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Town of Bath, England (UK)
Replies: 16
Views: 2109

Re: Town of Bath, England (UK)

Yes, it's an easy day trip by train and the station is quite centrally located when you get there. Be sure to buy your ticket ahead of time from http://www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk or you'll pay twice as much. There's Roman, Medieval and Georgian stuff to see all walkable in the city center. Highly r...
by cantabtim
Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has anyone ever quit their job without a job to go to?
Replies: 38
Views: 4910

Yes, left in January 2000 then ran into a friend of a friend at a party in May 2000 and was persuaded to go work at a then startup. Best move I ever made. Still there and had a lot of fun and made a lot of money.
by cantabtim
Sun Aug 09, 2009 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Vanguard Funds for a Taxable Account?
Replies: 29
Views: 19652

I was in a similar situation and so consulted the Boglehead book. There is an excellent section on asset placement for tax advantage. Following the book's advice I have Total Stock Market in my taxable account (just crossed the milestone to be eligible for Admiral shares which caused a probably quit...
by cantabtim
Sun Jan 18, 2009 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone been debt-free and not liked it?
Replies: 65
Views: 12802

Living in a location where you don't need a car to get to work or play is a privilege of great price. There are reasons alleged for moving to a car dependent lifestyle (larger house, safer neighborhood, better schools) but I'm unconvinced by any of them.
by cantabtim
Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Notice a Drop in Traffic Lately?
Replies: 18
Views: 3228

There seem to be more people on the subway here in Boston (the 'T'). On the Red line, the busiest and generally most reliable, they have resorted to taking all the seats out of some of the cars to enable more standing passengers, who take up less space.
by cantabtim
Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy a condo now or wait?
Replies: 13
Views: 3561

Couldn't agree more with the comment about being on a public transportation route (or of course in a self contained community where you didn't need any kind of transportation on a regular basis). It's all about location. A home where you can get to the office, to the store and to whatever you like t...
by cantabtim
Sat Apr 05, 2008 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are you a long-term investor?
Replies: 27
Views: 7184

The book did it for me

I'd never heard the term Boglehead until I picked up the book at an airport bookstall. I realized I'd been following what was basically a buy-and-hold of large diversified stock funds strategy for 20 years. I even had an account at Vanguard - although more through luck than judgement. Understanding ...
by cantabtim
Fri Mar 07, 2008 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: OT: There are poor out there.
Replies: 68
Views: 12580

Justifying not contributing is easier than $25/month

I'm no saint and I'm sure my modest charitable contributions are meager compared with many members of this forum. What annoys me considerably though is people who justify not making a charitable contribution because of some perceived political agenda on the part of the receiving organization. OK, ma...
by cantabtim
Sun Feb 03, 2008 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I don't think you want to miss this
Replies: 28
Views: 6253

Silicon Valley is not bad for public transit

I disagree somewhat with ValueThinker. Although I live in Greater Boston, I travel very regularly to San Francisco and Silicon Valley for business. I haven't had to rent a car there in years. CalTrain provides a good service up and down the SF/San Jose corridor and most of the office parks in which ...
by cantabtim
Sat Sep 08, 2007 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How much foreign exposure does your portfolio REALLY have?
Replies: 11
Views: 3325

"Stuck" with $200K in the UK

I moved to the US in '94 after growing up and working for the first decade of my career in the UK. My British equivalent of a 401k, held by the pension trustees at my former employer in London and invested through ML and Barclays, is now worth about 100K Pounds. With the way the USD has been doing l...
by cantabtim
Sat Sep 08, 2007 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What do you think of your 401k?
Replies: 25
Views: 6048

OK but ER too high

To keep bonds out of my taxable accounts and maintain 60/40 Stocks/Bonds AA, I send over 60% of my maxed-out 401k contribution to the PIMCO Total Return Fund PTRAX. The ER though is 0.93%. The rest of the 401k contribution goes to an S&P 500 index fund with an ER of 0.54 which seems high but not...
by cantabtim
Thu Apr 26, 2007 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth with no money down
Replies: 7
Views: 2315

Roth with no money down

Any recommendations for where and how to setup a Roth IRA with just a monthly contribution. ie. no initial deposit.

I have finally talked my partner in to opening such an account but he's reluctant (correctly I think) to take $3000 from his hard-won emergency fund to get in to the game at Vanguard.