Search found 11616 matches

by The Wizard
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Income Annuities
Replies: 20
Views: 895

Re: Income Annuities

If you die tomorrow, are you ok with losing out on your lump annuity payment and not leaving it to somebody? Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't that how these things work? I chose a ten year guarantee period with my annuities, as opposed to 15 years, 20 years, or zero. But it's totally up t...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 22, 2018 10:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to cash in VTSAX
Replies: 21
Views: 1058

Re: I want to cash in VTSAX

I, too, hold VTSAX in my taxable account and add to it periodically.
My approximate plan is to withdraw a nice chunk of that money in around 18-20 months.
But it won't be for market timing purposes, it will be to buy a new hybrid Mustang...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I want to cash in VTSAX
Replies: 21
Views: 1058

Re: I want to cash in VTSAX

Oh dear. :(
Yes, if you sell today and then go back in later when shares have fallen 10%, then you'll come out ahead, though there will be LTCG taxes to pay on that withdrawal...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Income Annuities
Replies: 20
Views: 895

Re: Income Annuities

Yes, Single Premium Immediate Annuties are what you want. This means you pay $100,000 today and lifetime monthly income of $542 hits your checking account starting July 1st and the first of each month after. That "$542" will vary depending on age, single or joint life, guarantee period, and a few ot...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new truck before retiring?
Replies: 53
Views: 2491

Re: Buy new truck before retiring?

augryphon wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:30 am
Park the Chevys side by side and set them on fire. Then go buy a Ford truck.
This is rather humorous, being an owner of a 2016 F-150...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buy new truck before retiring?
Replies: 53
Views: 2491

Re: Buy new truck before retiring?

You're conflating two issues: the truck issue and retirement.
With decent financial planning for retirement, that transition shouldn't matter.

As for the truck, going from 3/4 ton (so called) to half ton will reduce your towing and payload capacity, so have you looked into that?
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement spending/ HCOL areas?
Replies: 10
Views: 1817

Re: Retirement spending/ HCOL areas?

I have an old friend and his wife that live in UHCOL Hawaii, own home, no mortgage, Dual "Gov'n'nt" retirements plus military plus SS. With commissary and PX priv. $80k/year barely gets by and they are very frugal. j As long as you can live on raw fish, poke, and so forth, you'll be fine in The Isl...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:54 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement spending/ HCOL areas?
Replies: 10
Views: 1817

Re: Retirement spending/ HCOL areas?

I'm not quite sure what the question is. I'm retired in the metro Boston area which may be HCOL, I'm not sure. But I bought my house 40 years ago, so that hasn't been an issue for a while. Food and other ongoing expenses don't seem especially high to me. I probably spend around $100k annually includ...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: General Electric booted from Dow Jones Industrial Average
Replies: 46
Views: 4845

Re: General Electric booted from Dow Jones Industrial Average

At some point, GE could be removed from the S&P 500 if it's still a separate entity by then.
That will be impressive...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses
Replies: 29
Views: 2157

Re: I don't trust my own estimate of expenses

...Its much better to find your total actual spending and then bring it down than to try to do a bottoms up estimate. How is your spending complicated? In the most simple sense you can calculate your average spending from Spending+Savings = Income What he's saying is, use the Top Down method: Spend...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4020

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

...What's actionable about tracking expenses? And by that I mean details on spending versus the big picture. Our savings (both retirement and non-retirement) comes out first, then spending and usually some is left over that gets added to extra savings or put in a big-ticket item spending account. O...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advice on Roth conversions
Replies: 19
Views: 1293

Re: Advice on Roth conversions

Yes, you can do a Roth CONVERSION (it's not a rollover) of any amount regardless of earned income. The amount converted will be taxed as ordinary income for the year.

You probably will be fine converting to the top of the 12% Federal bracket this year, but that's entirely up to you...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money
Replies: 69
Views: 5618

Re: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money

FIREchief wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:10 pm
I've heard that rule most often from nervous investors trying to justify their actions as they pull everything out of stocks during a Bear market.
It's an immature attitude in those cases...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Having a hard time pulling the trigger...
Replies: 25
Views: 2365

Re: Having a hard time pulling the trigger...

Question: If your bonus was paid out in shares of VTI totaling $250k, would you have immediately sold them, then come here asking the same questions? Or would you have just stayed invested? +1 I think that is a great way of looking at it. Alternately, there are people here with $500k or $1M in stoc...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money
Replies: 69
Views: 5618

Re: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money

I don't like that Wiki article because it makes the wrong points and buries the more important concept deep in the article in such a way that the idea is not clear and hard to find. The best thing about a wiki is that if you think an article can and should be improved, you are able to make that hap...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security advice needed
Replies: 28
Views: 1931

Re: Social Security advice needed

neilpilot wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:52 am
Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:56 am
Have you included the likely reduction in benefits in 2034 of 25%?
Is it against board guidelines to suggest that the reduction in benefits is hardly "likely"?
Good point.
That reduction is pretty much assured under current law, if we take the SSA's accounting at face value, which I do...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money
Replies: 69
Views: 5618

Re: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money

Obviously Buffett violates his own rules on a recurring basis. Usually "never lose money" boils down to preservation of capital and simple mathematics: A 50% loss requires a 100% gain just to break even. A 30% loss requires a 42.86% gain to break even. A 10% loss requires only a 11.11% gain to brea...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money
Replies: 69
Views: 5618

Re: What does it mean: Rule No. 1: Never lose money

Sounds to me like a lot of yak, yak...
by The Wizard
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:05 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Very confused with the current market
Replies: 93
Views: 8295

Re: Very confused with the current market

JoeRetire wrote:
Sun Jun 17, 2018 3:11 pm

...What's going wrong is that you "had been on cash for 10 months" for some reason. Perhaps you have been waiting for a non-existent fundamental law to do something and it hasn't.
Well stated...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 155
Views: 7414

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

I’m probably an extreme outlier. I have plentiful options within walking distance, including Wal-Mart, but 98% of my meals come from daily drives to a nearby corner that includes Walgreens, Arby’s, and Taco Bell. I alternate fairly equally amongst the three. My refrigerator is used exclusively to h...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 114
Views: 8495

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

In Florida, it's best to have 8 or 10 red (or yellow) five-gallon containers of fuel for your car at home.
When times get tough, merely having lots of cash won't help in this department...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 114
Views: 8495

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

My question is: how much cash should I have to evacuate and reside in a safe area for 2 months or longer? Is $10,000 green cash hidden on the premises reasonable ? Unless you are running from the law and need to stay hidden, why would ATMs and banks not be available at the safe area? Power outage, ...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: IRA concerns
Replies: 29
Views: 985

Re: IRA concerns

That Thomas partners Dividend Growth Strategy thing is NOT a standard mutual fund or ETF.
It is Something Else.
I'm not saying it's a Bernie Madoff thing, but I personally would stay away from it.
Tell them you want mutual funds that can be monitored and compared with a five-letter ticker on M*...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate "fun money" per year?
Replies: 36
Views: 2712

Re: How to calculate "fun money" per year?

Is there a percentage to use? Not really. The percentage to look at is percentage to long-term savings. When I was in my 20s, salary was modest and expenses were comparatively high. As years went on, I increased percentage to long-term investments most years until eventually I maxed out. But I did ...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate "fun money" per year?
Replies: 36
Views: 2712

Re: How to calculate "fun money" per year?

Is there a percentage to use? Not really. The percentage to look at is percentage to long-term savings. When I was in my 20s, salary was modest and expenses were comparatively high. As years went on, I increased percentage to long-term investments most years until eventually I maxed out. But I did ...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 155
Views: 7414

Re: Which Supermarket are you?

I shop mainly at Market Basket, a local MA/NH chain.
https://www.shopmarketbasket.com
Good prices and I like that their live lobsters are priced the same per pound regardless of size...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate "fun money" per year?
Replies: 36
Views: 2712

Re: How to calculate "fun money" per year?

Use leftover money for Fun Money.
Leftover after pay yourself first for retirement investments...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4020

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

I have tracked categorized spending for some time. As AlohaJoe pointed out, this is very helpful in identifying expense you might not normally think about, or realize the extent of such spending. So, i guess tracking expenses has been helpful in that sense. Where it has not been as useful, and top ...
by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4020

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

For people who have already made the transition, does your expenses in retirement resemble that during the years leading up to retirement? If so, is that a coincidence, or is it because you are essentially doing the same things as before? Yes, it resembled it. No, it wasn't exactly the same. But it...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Cancelation of Notifications
Replies: 11
Views: 767

Re: Cancelation of Notifications

I presently have 387 notifications and I simply ignore them.
OP can do likewise...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: convert 4 wire to a 3 wire switch
Replies: 15
Views: 1542

Re: convert 4 wire to a 3 wire switch

Since the OP has yet to return, speculation on this problem is futile...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money do you want to retire?
Replies: 433
Views: 50572

Re: How much money do you want to retire?

Personally, I think this thread would have been much more interesting, if folks expressed their desired amount as a function of salary, ie 20X, as opposed to a specific dollar amount... I prefer to look at it as an income ratio. In other words, around 1.2 to 1.3 times my net take-home pay when work...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4020

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

...For people who have already made the transition, does your expenses in retirement resemble that during the years leading up to retirement? If so, is that a coincidence, or is it because you are essentially doing the same things as before? For those still in the planning stages, are you planning ...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?
Replies: 23
Views: 1962

Re: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?

Remember the original question: What changes are people with tax deferred accounts making in response to the projected changes in longevity? There's almost nothing actionable that can be done here. On the contrary, look at all the decisions that are available to you that I just mentioned. * work pas...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?
Replies: 23
Views: 1962

Re: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?

...If minimizing taxes had been the real goal, I failed miserably. But, as I stated earlier, that is a false goal. Our goal is maximizing after-tax income and we have been reasonably successful at that. So, every year I write the IRS a check and try hard to be thankful that I can cover the check. M...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Am I "market timing"?
Replies: 37
Views: 1864

Re: Am I "market timing"?

You changed the timing of your investing based on what the market is doing. Yes, it's market timing. I market time as well. When I have extra money that's destined for the total stock market fund in my taxable account, I don't like to buy on a significantly Up day. So I wait a little while until a ...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Am I "market timing"?
Replies: 37
Views: 1864

Re: Am I "market timing"?

You changed the timing of your investing based on what the market is doing. Yes, it's market timing. I market time as well. When I have extra money that's destined for the total stock market fund in my taxable account, I don't like to buy on a significantly Up day. So I wait a little while until a ...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long time retirees: how much do you really need?
Replies: 12
Views: 3323

Re: Long time retirees: how much do you really need?

I think we've been over this general topic before. At 5+ years into retirement, I like to keep my "basic expenses" to less than half of my retirement income. This gives me significant extra funds for discretionary expenses. As an example, I just got advance notice of a month-long trip to New Zealand...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 6:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 1 Year Rule - Not allowed to execute new investment strategy until 1 year has passed
Replies: 27
Views: 2435

Re: 1 Year Rule - Not allowed to execute new investment strategy until 1 year has passed

I ponder things for a while before making a change.
Right now I'm pondering whether to sell a small holding in junk bond fund TIHYX and move the proceeds into TIAA Traditional.
I think I'll probably do this at some point.
This gives me the illusion of being in control...
by The Wizard
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?
Replies: 23
Views: 1962

Re: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?

...If we had saved the money in a taxable account we would only be paying capital gains on the increase instead of ordinary income rates. I know that for me, I would be far better off if this were the case. But I made my choice way back when, and now I will live with it... Not quite true. You would...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

B4Xt3r wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:07 pm
Wow, ppl really don't like CT.
Not just ppl, but ppl who live in the state and have some experience with the details...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Light Camping Trailer
Replies: 42
Views: 3398

Re: Light Camping Trailer

Most vehicles can pull a camper but the real question is "can your vehicle stop it". That is what we have been told by countless camper people. Cody That hasn't been true for decades, but the stories do persist. OK, so you're saying that jack-knifing emergency stops with a trailer with no brakes si...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 6:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 194
Views: 16476

Re: Life in retirement - what did you do today?

...It is just an alternative route you have available after your savings reach a certain point. So at this point if I want I can take the 35%-50% I would normally put into savings and take a trip or whatever and still be better off because my monthly expenses were covered by my paycheck. The point ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?
Replies: 186
Views: 15381

Re: Top Shelf Liquor Overrated?

stemikger wrote:
Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:28 pm
...As far as beer goes, I only drink Bud Light. All these new craft beers are just too bitter and heavy for me.
*sigh*
(from a committed IPA consumer...)
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

It doesn't matter to the OP right now, I'm guessing, but both CT and RI tax SS income. MA does not... CT taxes SS at at max of 25% but a lot of folks are exempt. Starting in TY 2019 for single filers <75K and MFJ <100K; no tax on SS and 14% of pensions, annuities, etc is deductible from AGI for CT ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

It doesn't matter to the OP right now, I'm guessing, but both CT and RI tax SS income. MA does not...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2549

Re: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?

OP Here, Job is south of worcestar by about 20 minutes. I'm totally unfamiliar with the area, so any comments about places to look at will be welcome. Usual recommendation holds here and that is to rent a place for the first 6-12 months while you get to know the area. I'd look for something within ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?
Replies: 23
Views: 1962

Re: RMDs based on 1986 life expectancy versus today?

...The focus should be to ask what people are doing about changing life expectancies (focusing on Required Minimum Distributions); thinking about how long they might live and plan accordingly. There's almost nothing actionable that can be done here. Even if the RMD table was updated to present year...