Search found 5278 matches

by protagonist
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?
Replies: 37
Views: 2136

Re: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?

VictoriaF wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:14 am


Even if I don't collect anything, I'll have a story, and I like having stories.

Victoria
Yes, stories are priceless.
by protagonist
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?
Replies: 37
Views: 2136

Re: Travel delay: Can I *easily* get $60 back?

I successfully got reimbursed over $400 for a cancelled flight last year via Chase Sapphire Reserve....they paid for my hotel and meals. I recall having to submit a lot of paperwork to document the event and my expenses. I don't recall all the details. But I probably spent 2-3 hours on it, between r...
by protagonist
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Beam 2-4% APY
Replies: 16
Views: 2782

Re: Beam 2-4% APY

There are simple, legit, FDIC insured internet banks offering 2% or more with no hassles and flexibility. Even Fidelity and Vanguard have ~2% money market accounts (though they require large initial deposits and don't offer FDIC). That said, money not needed for emergency funds can be invested in CD...
by protagonist
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Thailand and Panama come to mind right off........ lots of English spoken, low to very low cost of living and I include medical in that. Very friendly and courteous people. Good financial and banking systems. Panama is on the top of most internet lists these days. I will probably be there this wint...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 16, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advantages of I-Bonds vs CD ?
Replies: 27
Views: 3158

Re: Advantages of I-Bonds vs CD ?

Nobody has mentioned the elephant in the room, which is that I-bonds carry insurance against inflation, which is the greatest threat to any retiree's assets. CDs do not. I discussed it quite explicitly, although I didn't call it insurance. If you have a 3% 5 year CD and inflation goes crazy, like i...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advantages of I-Bonds vs CD ?
Replies: 27
Views: 3158

Re: Advantages of I-Bonds vs CD ?

Nobody has mentioned the elephant in the room, which is that I-bonds carry insurance against inflation, which is the greatest threat to any retiree's assets. CDs do not. If you have a 3% 5 year CD and inflation goes crazy, like it did in the 1970s-early 1980s, you can only hope you are able to get o...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 16, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Thailand and Panama come to mind right off........ lots of English spoken, low to very low cost of living and I include medical in that. Very friendly and courteous people. Good financial and banking systems. Panama is on the top of most internet lists these days. I will probably be there this wint...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2165

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

The real "crime" here is that a New Haven Railroad (on whose right of way present day Amtrak trains travel) trains from the early 1900's would have made the trip in about 4 hours as well. No innovation and no improvement in the last 80 years... I recall reading an article that compared typical trav...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Antarctica. High cultured neighborhood. Everyone always wears tuxes. My requirement is for everyone always wearing high heels. Victoria Mine would immediately rule out any place where people (or penguins) wore tuxes or high heels, including to weddings and funerals. Nobody wearing more than board s...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Thailand and Panama come to mind right off........ lots of English spoken, low to very low cost of living and I include medical in that. Very friendly and courteous people. Good financial and banking systems. Panama is on the top of most internet lists these days. I will probably be there this wint...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Antarctica. High cultured neighborhood. Everyone always wears tuxes. My requirement is for everyone always wearing high heels. Victoria Mine would immediately rule out any place where people (or penguins) wore tuxes or high heels, including to weddings and funerals. Nobody wearing more than board s...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

I believe Estonia is in the Schengen Zone, which would make it very difficult for a US citizen to live there. You can only stay in the Zone for 90 days out of any 6 month period. This would also apply for much of the rest of Europe. I suspect as we tighten our immigration policies we can expect oth...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck
Replies: 95
Views: 3676

Re: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck

It's also possible we have a very painful 26 year mean reversion. I'm not saying I think that will happen, but it's another possibility. Just because something has been above the mean for a very long time does not mean it can't still mean revert. All that said, in retirement I'm thinking about wors...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 4:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2165

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

If the LGV to Bordeaux had to circumnavigate the steep hills of Connecticut with a saw tooth shore line full of existing towns and houses, it would take a lot more than 2 hours for trains to use it. Not much in the way of steep hills along the Boston-NYC route, or in my case the Northampton-NYC rou...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Been researching this a bit, and from what I found (as a US Citizen) the easiest country to relocate / move / work (as self employed solely) - is to get a Dutch DAFT permit (residency) and its initially 2 years renewal again till you finally can get Permanent Residency Not applicable for retirees, ...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?
Replies: 105
Views: 9001

Re: As an American, where are some great places in the world to retire?

Tallinn, Estonia: Much to do, friendly people, stable government, very low cost of living yet modern everything. Beautiful city. Hobart, Australia: On the island of Tasmania. Laid back lifestyle, much cheaper cost of living than Sydney, interesting history, interesting critters and scenery, beautif...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?
Replies: 50
Views: 2165

Re: Travel over thanksgiving holiday, drive or fly?

I drive to NYC every other weekend from MA, usually leaving Friday and returning Monday or Tuesday. I have often driven to NYC on Thanksgiving weekend. Our infrastructure is terrible. From where I live in MA, buses and trains to NYC usually take twice as long as driving , cost 3 times as much, and y...
by protagonist
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck
Replies: 95
Views: 3676

Re: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck

It's also possible we have a very painful 26 year mean reversion. I'm not saying I think that will happen, but it's another possibility. Just because something has been above the mean for a very long time does not mean it can't still mean revert. All that said, in retirement I'm thinking about wors...
by protagonist
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New York Times--Vanguard Warns of Worsening Odds for the Economy and Markets
Replies: 67
Views: 9624

Re: New York Times--Vanguard Warns of Worsening Odds for the Economy and Markets

My advice if you are retired and can afford it: Keep enough money invested in "ultrasafe" ways (eg CDs, I-bonds, Treasuries, etc) to provide for your needs going forward without resulting in too severe a life style compromise (factoring in future income as well). It doesn't matter if that amount is ...
by protagonist
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 379
Views: 52570

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

One guideline is to extend maturity if you can earn an extra 20 basis points per extra year of maturity. With your MM fund at 1.55%, even the 3-month CD yield of 1.9% clears that hurdle by a lot. With a MM fund yield of 2.05%, the 1-year at 2.45% gives one 40 basis points of extra yield for extendi...
by protagonist
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck
Replies: 95
Views: 3676

Re: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck

For those who don't believe valuation matters, I suppose this excellent article can just be discarded. But for those who are a little bit more philosophical about how recency bias from this 10 year bull market might cloud ones thinking, the chart comparing SWR vs CAEP, is outstanding. CAEP = about ...
by protagonist
Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck
Replies: 95
Views: 3676

Re: Importance of sequence of real returns for SWR, CAPE valuation, and Luck

For those who don't believe valuation matters, I suppose this excellent article can just be discarded. But for those who are a little bit more philosophical about how recency bias from this 10 year bull market might cloud ones thinking, the chart comparing SWR vs CAEP, is outstanding. CAEP = about ...
by protagonist
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 379
Views: 52570

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

One guideline is to extend maturity if you can earn an extra 20 basis points per extra year of maturity. With your MM fund at 1.55%, even the 3-month CD yield of 1.9% clears that hurdle by a lot. With a MM fund yield of 2.05%, the 1-year at 2.45% gives one 40 basis points of extra yield for extendi...
by protagonist
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can we afford to stay in HCOL area?
Replies: 92
Views: 9116

Re: Can we afford to stay in HCOL area?

If you want a top notch (materialistically) life in the Bay Area, ~$350k is not quite enough. That said, the median household income in SF is $78,378. The two "richest" zipcodes in SF, 94127 and 94105, have median household incomes of $95K and $89K, respectively. http://zipatlas.com/us/ca/san-franc...
by protagonist
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I pay 6000.00 to repair wife's car....
Replies: 77
Views: 4557

Re: Should I pay 6000.00 to repair wife's car....

Take into account how much vehicles have improved since 2010 and how much more fun and safer they are to drive. I traded in my 2006 Honda Element (that I loved) for a 2017 Hyundai Elantra last November, for which I paid in the low $20Ks new before trade-in. It has Android Auto, backup camera, lane a...
by protagonist
Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4
Replies: 50
Views: 2348

Re: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4

KlangFool wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:35 pm

In summary, there is nothing average about your annual expense of 86K per year in an MCOL area.

KlangFool

Especially in light of the fact that the median household income in the US is only about $59K/year.
by protagonist
Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 379
Views: 52570

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

Accidentally bought a 01/06/2021 maturity @ 105.042 for 3.025978% effective yield. So it matures in 2.4 years. I read that FDIC only covers up to par. It is Transportation Alliance Bank. Deposit accounts show B+... Safe and Sound shows 5 Do you guys avoid buying above par? https://www.depositaccoun...
by protagonist
Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4
Replies: 50
Views: 2348

Re: Average expenses in MCOL area for a family of 4

First, there's no good uniform definition of MCOL. I bet many people would quibble over which metro qualifies as what. There are sites that compare cost of living of a given community with that of the entire country and produce a percentage. I have no idea how accurate they are, but I would propose...
by protagonist
Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying off mortgage....risk?
Replies: 14
Views: 1076

Re: Paying off mortgage....risk?

One cons (or risk) that is at the back of my mind is "what happens in a worse case, total lost event that is not covered by insurance?" (e.g. earthquake, severe flood, meteor strike, nuclear). Ok, I understand there is only a 0.0000000000000000000000001% chance that will happen but my response to t...
by protagonist
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Rental Property as an Investment?
Replies: 20
Views: 1025

Re: Rental Property as an Investment?

I live in W MA. N Adams is an interesting community. Not long ago it was a dead old mill town like much of the northern corridor along Rte 2 west of Worcester. MassMOCA came along and it is experiencing a minor renaissance...galleries, great brew pub, stuff like that. Artists are moving in. But I st...
by protagonist
Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 379
Views: 52570

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

1% difference means $100/year for 2-3 years per $10K invested. 0.1% is $10/year.
So unless you are investing large amounts in any given CD, differences of a few tenths of a percent are trivial. A few cups of coffee per year in a NYC coffee house.
by protagonist
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7883

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

It's included with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If it wasn't I would not purchase it. I only insure against catastrophic losses, since the odds are stacked in the insurance companies' favor. I don't believe in gambling with bad odds, especially when the house doesn't even provide free drinks. Wh...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7883

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

It's included with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. If it wasn't I would not purchase it. I only insure against catastrophic losses, since the odds are stacked in the insurance companies' favor. I don't believe in gambling with bad odds, especially when the house doesn't even provide free drinks. I ...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7883

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

It's included with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card.

If it wasn't I would not purchase it. I only insure against catastrophic losses, since the odds are stacked in the insurance companies' favor. I don't believe in gambling with bad odds, especially when the house doesn't even provide free drinks.
by protagonist
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for a pep talk
Replies: 26
Views: 3067

Re: Looking for a pep talk

I don't want to sound too obvious here, but a huge missing factor is your spending habits. An annual income of $350K is a lot. Over a million dollars gross every three years. You are in the 98.6%ile for household income....only 1.4% of Americans make more than you. With only a $200K mortgage, you sh...
by protagonist
Thu Aug 09, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"
Replies: 240
Views: 20034

Re: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"

Two fierce competitors. A good argument for moving money to Fidelity is to force Vanguard (and other firms) to also lower rates (I assume Fido never would have lowered their rates if they didn't have to compete with Vanguard's low rates in the first place). Keep competition as fierce as possible. V...
by protagonist
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Question] Does History at any point give an example of a complete market crash?
Replies: 8
Views: 839

Re: [Question] Does History at any point give an example of a complete market crash?

" Almost every major country has had a bear market in which share prices have dropped over 80%, and some countries have had drops of over 90%. " I don't know if that is true, but there are plenty of examples over the past century. https://www.globalfinancialdata.com/GFD/Blog/the-worst-bear-market-in...
by protagonist
Tue Aug 07, 2018 6:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"
Replies: 240
Views: 20034

Re: "Don't Obsess About Expense Ratios"

Two fierce competitors. A good argument for moving money to Fidelity is to force Vanguard (and other firms) to also lower rates (I assume Fido never would have lowered their rates if they didn't have to compete with Vanguard's low rates in the first place). Keep competition as fierce as possible. Vo...
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are Bonds Always Safe? — A Second Look at U.S. Portfolio Disasters
Replies: 108
Views: 9072

Re: Are Bonds Always Safe? — A Second Look at U.S. Portfolio Disasters

The relative safety of bonds has probably been over-rated since we have exoerienced almost a 40 year period of mostly declining interest rates, from the highest rates in modern history to the lowest. The 30-40 years prior to that, with progressively increasing interest rates, tell a different story....
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: PenFed or Navy Federal?
Replies: 30
Views: 2260

Re: PenFed or Navy Federal?

Don't limit yourself to two choices.
Check who offers the best rates on depositaccounts.com
Then go with them, and switch later if for any reason you are dissatisfied.
It's easy enough to move from one bank to another, so don't take your decision too seriously.
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?
Replies: 31
Views: 2464

Re: Should I move all my investments to Vanguard?

I have about 60% of my investments held at Vanguard and 40% of my investments held at Fidelity. The Fidelity support leaves much to be desired and I am think of moving all my investments to Vanguard. What would you say are the pros and cons of this move? Thanks Dennis I have gotten excellent suppor...
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property - Continue to Rent or Sell
Replies: 20
Views: 1631

Re: Rental Property - Continue to Rent or Sell

Pajamas wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 6:36 pm
Another accidental landlord situation!

Would you buy this property today? If not, sell.
Excellent advice. About most things in life actually.
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 11:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avocado oil --recommendations?
Replies: 21
Views: 2140

Re: Avocado oil --recommendations?

I also use it on popcorn in lieu of butter, where olive oil would be overpowering. It's hard to beat butter on popcorn. I don't use a lot of butter and I rarely make popcorn but when I do, I put butter on it. ... and grass-fed butter (for example Kerrygold or locally sourced) isn’t the death senten...
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need Options - Honda Accord Incredibly Uncomfortable Seats
Replies: 110
Views: 16550

Re: "10 Savvy Ways You Can Spot Fake Reviews"

Bogleheads: First time Boglehead posters bashing a non-financial product may be real but good investors are skeptical. This article will help spot impostors: 10 Savvy Ways You Can Spot Fake Reviews Best wishes. Taylor I find this website very useful for evaluating reviews : https://www.fakespot.com...
by protagonist
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avocado oil --recommendations?
Replies: 21
Views: 2140

Re: Avocado oil --recommendations?

I bought some at Trader Joe's/ It has very little flavor. I assumed that is normal for avocado oil. Not like olive oil. Am I wrong? The same thing happened to me. I was excited when Trader Joe's started carrying avocado oil and grabbed a bottle but was completely disappointed when I opened it as it...
by protagonist
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fidelity cash position
Replies: 55
Views: 6826

Re: Fidelity cash position

If you can initially invest $100K , look at FZDXX Premium Money Market , currently getting close to 2% yield. https://fundresearch.fidelity.com/mutual-funds/summary/31617H805 You just have to make a $100K initial investment, which is steep. But if you can, after that you can invest most of it in oth...
by protagonist
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Avocado oil --recommendations?
Replies: 21
Views: 2140

Re: Avocado oil --recommendations?

I bought some at Trader Joe's/

It has very little flavor.

I assumed that is normal for avocado oil. Not like olive oil.

Am I wrong?
by protagonist
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rental Property - Continue to Rent or Sell
Replies: 20
Views: 1631

Re: Rental Property - Continue to Rent or Sell

I sold one with decent cash flow about a month ago that I inherited in 2005.

I feel like an albatross has been lifted from my neck. I had an ideal tenant and I was a great landlord. Still, IMHO, being a landlord only complicates your life.

I like to keep life simple.
by protagonist
Mon Jul 09, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today
Replies: 379
Views: 52570

Re: 2-year CDs at Vanguard and Fidelity Today

I think it is important to remember that, unless you are talking about really large investments, small differences in yield over a 2 or even a 3 year period are rather trivial. For each $10K invested, only $10/yr. per each 0.1% yield difference. For that reason, I just accepted the best yields I cou...
by protagonist
Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What I spent in 6 months on medicare
Replies: 159
Views: 12683

Re: What I spent in 6 months on medicare

I am in my early 70's - and I just reviewed what I spent on Medical costs under Medicare. While this is anecdotal - it is an example of my low costs (so far at least). Medicare Part B - $134/month - 6 months = $804 Medicare (Kaiser) plan premiums $30/month - 6 months = $180 My approximate prescript...