Search found 11596 matches

by The Wizard
Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which Supermarket are you?
Replies: 62
Views: 1926

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: 30
Views: 1310

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: 30
Views: 1310

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: 815

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: 27
Views: 1182

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: 27
Views: 1182

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: 62
Views: 1926

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: 27
Views: 1182

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: 35
Views: 1751

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: 35
Views: 1751

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: 633

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: 1421

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: 50036

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: 35
Views: 1751

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: 21
Views: 1529

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: 21
Views: 1529

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: 1778

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: 1778

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: 11
Views: 2419

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: 2357

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: 21
Views: 1529

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: 2401

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: 3312

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: 173
Views: 13711

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: 172
Views: 13901

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: 2401

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: 2401

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: 2401

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: 21
Views: 1529

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: 2401

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: 2401

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: 2401

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: 1421

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: 2309

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: 3471

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: 221

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...
by The Wizard
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Maintaining TIAA Traditional after moving substantial holdings to Vanguard
Replies: 2
Views: 259

Re: Maintaining TIAA Traditional after moving substantial holdings to Vanguard

I agree with keeping some funds in Trad and TREA. Other stock funds will depend on your expense ratio class; if R3 then not so bad. Additionally, you should be thinking about annuitizing a portion of your TIAA assets for lifetime income around age 70. This assumes your health and life expectancy are...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?
Replies: 148
Views: 10961

Re: Are you including SS in your planning model? Are the benefits really that high?

Plan for no SS, no pension, 0% real growth, elimination of Roth and HSA tax advantages, inability to work past 65, death of a spouse, a 100-year lifespan with the last 20 years in assisted living, and a zombie apocalypse, and you'll be fine. If things turn out rosier, that's just extra gravy. That ...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 173
Views: 13711

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

I presently have 381 of those notifications, which I continue to ignore... Really? IMHO, that is a perfect case of hit-and-run posting. If you are NOT interested in a topic, especially, if your DO NOT want any replies to your own reply, why bother putting it there in the first place? Umm, you might...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any problem opening fund "Investor", then building to "Admiral"?
Replies: 25
Views: 1535

Re: Any problem opening fund "Investor", then building to "Admiral"?

Apparently, based on my recent experience, eligible Investor class funds are upgraded to Admiral automatically on a quarterly basis.
So you might be waiting a month or two if waiting for Vanguard to do it.
But you can do the exchange yourself once you get over the threshold, $10k or whatever...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 173
Views: 13711

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

But, some folks can't ignore my posts and it keeps showing up in my notifications that someone quoted me, so... that happened because you actually made an entry here! By the way, to save you the trouble of getting extra notification, I did NOT quote you by the name; see I was so nice :-) I presentl...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interesting Social Security analysis
Replies: 16
Views: 2245

Re: Interesting Social Security analysis

...My other thought is that while it is more at 70, my body may not be able to allow me to travel and enjoy the things I want to do. If I were to take it at 62, there is more to enjoy. $31K is a lot of travel and things to do.... Practically all of us who are delaying SS until 70, are withdrawing t...
by The Wizard
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: converting some traditional IRA to Roth
Replies: 45
Views: 2296

Re: converting some traditional IRA to Roth

Wow. You've got the perfect storm for your 70's - pension, SS, large RMDs, and RMDs from inherited IRAs in addition to being single. Your tax rate later on could be significantly higher than now. I'd guess the 28% bracket if taxes do revert in 2026. A good example of why I no longer suggest using a...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Life in retirement - what did you do today?
Replies: 173
Views: 13711

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

yousha wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:38 pm
There are no alarm clocks in retirement especially if you have reached critical mass.
Well stated, Mr. Brinker...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2491

Re: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio

It’s not recommended to invest more than half in SPIAs. How many folks do you figure can purchase $1-2 million in annuities over 10-20 years, if it represents half the portfolio value? I tend to agree with the one-half amount. A $Million annuitized yields $60k to $70k per year for mid sixties folks...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2491

Re: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio

When you buy a SPIA what options should you buy? None, cash back, 10 or 20 year guaranteed, joint etc? Trying to understand the pro and con of each option. Thanks. Paul All of my immediate annuities with TIAA are 10 year guaranteed with no silly cash back option. I'm single nowadays so my annuities...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: For Sale By Owner (FSBO) purchase - how much discount can I expect?
Replies: 22
Views: 1578

Re: For Sale By Owner (FSBO) purchase - how much discount can I expect?

Depends on what kind of bidding war you get into for the property.
Let's say asking price is $300k and first two bids are for $340k and $350k.
You have to deal with reality, see?
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tilt tward small & mid capital for 1 to 2% more return
Replies: 13
Views: 945

Re: Tilt tward small & mid capital for 1 to 2% more return

Just plot VFIAX, VIMAX, and VSMAX on the same graph for various time periods in M* to see how Large, Mid, and Small Caps did relative to each other.
Not hard to do.
Then make your own decision on how to tilt...
by The Wizard
Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2491

Re: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio

There is no investment that behaves like a pension, certainly not that Vanguard managed payout fund. TIPS ladders have their point but are not a pension, in particular lacking the insurance feature of pooled longevity risk. The equivalent to a pension is an SPIA, which is an insurance product and n...