Search found 11609 matches

by The Wizard
Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement spending/ HCOL areas?
Replies: 10
Views: 1709

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: 1709

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: 4440

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: 28
Views: 1888

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: 3943

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: 1179

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: 66
Views: 5092

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: 2348

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: 66
Views: 5092

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: 1903

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: 66
Views: 5092

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: 66
Views: 5092

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: 8235

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: 153
Views: 7058

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: 100
Views: 7193

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: 100
Views: 7193

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: 976

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: 35
Views: 2493

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: 35
Views: 2493

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: 153
Views: 7058

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: 35
Views: 2493

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: 3943

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: 3943

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: 748

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: 1534

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: 50470

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: 3943

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: 1952

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: 1952

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: 1854

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: 1854

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: 3289

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: 2421

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: 1952

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: 2542

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: 3386

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: 16218

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: 185
Views: 15226

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: 2542

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: 2542

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: 2542

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: 1952

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...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2542

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

^^^All true but when I hear "I don't want to pay taxes" the NH state of mind comes up even if not entirely true. I think it's an accurate statement so long as you stay north of Manchester most of the time. Certainly commuting from anywhere in NH to the Boston area is not a good idea, unless you wor...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2542

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

Lived in MA, in my opinion there is no part of MA that is commutable from NH, RI and CT where you will also retain your sanity, particularly in the winter. People do it, I don't recommend it. Oh come on, certainly there is. Let's say you work in Methuen. You can easily live a couple miles away in N...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job in MA, live in MA, RI, or CT?
Replies: 66
Views: 2542

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

I think you should research the taxes in all states so you are informed. Sounds like you will likely work within bicycle distance from my house. :D... Interesting. I'm at my GF's house in Burrillville, RI right now and there's actually a rail trail bike path nearby with a stop where you can hike a ...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: convert 4 wire to a 3 wire switch
Replies: 15
Views: 1534

Re: convert 4 wire to a 3 wire switch

Helpful replies so far, but a key point is: the solution to this problem would be rather easy to figure out for anyone with a modest amount of experience with home wiring. If the OP doesn't have experience with this sort of thing, the safest solution is to involve someone who does. A licensed electr...
by The Wizard
Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sold today, couple of questions
Replies: 11
Views: 2357

Re: Sold today, couple of questions

It's easy enough to monitor the equivalent ETF (VNQ) to see what's happening during the trading day.
Then decide what to do around 3:45 ET...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Non-alcoholic drinks for wedding
Replies: 79
Views: 3547

Re: Non-alcoholic drinks for wedding

Texanbybirth wrote:
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:01 am

...That will give people plenty of options to mix with the alcohol they sneak in their flasks. :D I'm kidding, I'm kidding.
BYOF, yes...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on my TIAA traditional options
Replies: 2
Views: 235

Re: Thoughts on my TIAA traditional options

Yes, Trad is a good choice for a bond surrogate nowadays. You could keep half your Trad in the higher rate illiquid version and half in the lower rate liquid version, which is roughly what I do. The higher rate Trad can be targeted for eventual annuitization. I also keep a smaller amount in their ju...