Search found 225 matches

by larklea
Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House
Replies: 47
Views: 15358

Re: Recommendation of Security Cameras for Exterior of House

I installed an IP camera system myself last fall. The wifi/battery cameras felt too much like 'toys' to me. Nothing against those that have these and are happy with them. I was also concerned about wifi bandwidth and signal strength. Q-see is the brand I ended up with. There are a number of good bra...
by larklea
Sun Jun 04, 2017 7:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Everything keeps going up, this feels too easy?
Replies: 113
Views: 12353

Re: Everything keeps going up, this feels too easy?

Nice thread. When I retired last year, my pension lump sum was sent to Vanguard. They were told to invest it 50/50 total stock/total bond. Funny, the $$ was three separate checks. They only invested the first check as instructed. The other two went into a MM. I looked at the market, looked overvalue...
by larklea
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Snowblower: lubricating discharge chute?
Replies: 20
Views: 5220

Re: Snowblower: lubricating discharge chute?

Silicone spray. Living in South Texas now, but I haven't forgotten yet. :)
by larklea
Mon Dec 26, 2016 8:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get rid of your belly........
Replies: 82
Views: 13472

Re: How to get rid of your belly........

The book that really tied it all together for me is Agaston's South Beach Diet. It's probably 15 years old and you can likely get a used copy somewhere for next to nothing. I volunteer at the Friends of the Library nearby and we have 3-4 copies for 50c. It''s similar advice to that already given. St...
by larklea
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?
Replies: 75
Views: 10472

Re: Benefits/longevity of more expensive ($300+) mens dress shoes?

I have a pair of Footjoy dress shoes that I bought in 1987 for maybe $180, which was a LOT of money for me at that time. They still look great, maybe a tad out of style. Other than that, I don't spend that much and they don't last that long.
by larklea
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning Violin as an adult? Yes, 3 years later!
Replies: 236
Views: 37838

Re: Learning an instrument as an adult?

I purchased a bass clarinet a few years ago with a goal to join the municipal band. It was pretty easy to get to a basic level, as I had played clarinet in school. Now, we've moved and there isn't really a municipal band option near us. So, it sits collecting dust. Same as the 4-5 guitars that I own...
by larklea
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which state to move for milder weather
Replies: 118
Views: 19335

Re: Which state to move for milder weather

Not Texas. We're locking the doors and throwing away the keys. I can't remember the last conversation I had with someone here that actually had a Texas accent.
by larklea
Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting cable cord...
Replies: 75
Views: 18125

Re: Cutting cable cord...

We didn't want to cut the cord, but I did want to stop paying for the cable converters in the spare bedrooms. These TVs are rarely watched. Back in the analog days, the other TVs could be hooked directly to cable and you'd get the basic 13 channels. Not anymore. I installed an antenna in the attic, ...
by larklea
Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Uncertainty at work - how to proceed
Replies: 13
Views: 2235

Re: Uncertainty at work - how to proceed

I don't think you need to be especially worried, based on the information you've provided. I hate it when organizations let people go and then give the remaining employees these vague reasons. Of course, they do it for a variety of reasons, some good, some maybe not. Over-weighting the emergency fun...
by larklea
Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How will you tip this Christmas?
Replies: 51
Views: 6044

Re: How will you tip this Christmas?

Basket of Snickers/Hershey/Reese's/York etc. to the private mailbox guys. Same to the veterinarian techs. Same to the Dog Day Care/Kennel staff. $20 gift card to the paper carrier, if we've had a consistent one all year. $10 or $20 above the normal $2 tip at my last haircut of the year. Loaf of pump...
by larklea
Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which state to move for milder weather
Replies: 118
Views: 19335

Re: Which state to move for milder weather

I'd recommend that you browse the FIRE board. LOTS of posts here about relocation. I'd recommend Texas, but we don't want anymore people moving here :happy . You might also want to look at all the information that's available re - great places to retire. http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/
by larklea
Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.
Replies: 55
Views: 6059

Re: Looking for recommendations on aerobic exercise equip.

I have really taken to bodyweight exercises. It can be very aerobic, if you keep the pace up. Plus, it's strength training and a lot of core/balance work. You can't beat the price and you can do it nearly anywhere, regardless of the weather. I really struggle with the boredom on 'traditional' aerobi...
by larklea
Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Boglehead Beer
Replies: 909
Views: 170421

Re: Boglehead Beer

Whatever hoppy beer Costco has in stock, usually around $22 a case. Last trip it was Sierra Nevada. Trip before that it was Karbach. Love craft beer, but I refuse to pay more than $7 a six pack. When I lived in the Midwest, I could get Boulevard Pale Ale at a reasonable price. If you're in the Houst...
by larklea
Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to Build A Retirement Paycheck From Your Investments
Replies: 23
Views: 6938

Re: How to Build A Retirement Paycheck From Your Investments

I find the buckets to be overly complex; however, if it helps some people better understand and manage, then it arguably has some value.

It's really all about the allocation, how much you withdraw, and how does the withdrawal change year to year. Many, many posts/threads/websites on this topic.
by larklea
Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for recently retired mother
Replies: 9
Views: 1257

Re: Portfolio for recently retired mother

Wow, WAY too complicated. A couple or three funds in each account maximum. Target date in each would work. Personally, I'd do Total Stock and Total Bond. Since she should not be in a crunch for the money with her assets and SS, you could be a bit more aggressive with allocation. I'd consider doing R...
by larklea
Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you analyze your spending? (Where is my money going?)
Replies: 69
Views: 13253

Re: How do you analyze your spending? (Where is my money going?)

MIcrosoft Money. It's no longer supported, but is still available. Can't beat the price. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/downloa ... x?id=20738
by larklea
Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees: What are your passions?
Replies: 56
Views: 9632

Re: Retirees: What are your passions?

Woodturning.
Learning bridge.
Getting all the projects done around the house that I've put off forever.
Social dancing.
Geneology.
Camping or sailing (still kicking this around, have done and enjoyed both).
Golf.
Reading.
by larklea
Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Crossing the line (becoming a miser)
Replies: 71
Views: 12178

Re: Crossing the line (becoming a miser)

Why fight it, it's a fun club to join. No meetings or dues. Lots of fun activities like standing in the grocery aisle agonizing over the name brand vs. store brand or cutting dryer sheets in half (see http://www.early-retirement.org). Seriously, I believe when you lose perspective is when you cross ...
by larklea
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google Doc Script
Replies: 14
Views: 2664

Re: Google Doc Script

I LOVE this. Thanks for posting.
by larklea
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury Cars - Am I missing out on creature comforts by not driving one?
Replies: 92
Views: 11119

Re: Luxury Cars - Am I missing out on creature comforts by not driving one?

It's all a matter of personal choice. We each (likely) spend money on things we enjoy that others may find foolish. We're thinking of something more upscale in our next SUV, primarily due seat comfort and arthritis. I find most cars these days to be SO much better than those I drove when I was 'star...
by larklea
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deleted
Replies: 21
Views: 4463

Re: health care Early Retirement

Just retired a month ago. For planning purposes, I used our existing expenditures, then added in an extra $1000 per month for the higher premiums.

I think your $30k looks reasonable. As others have noted, inflation adjustments are critical.
by larklea
Sat Oct 08, 2016 6:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Creating Portfolio That Generates Income
Replies: 6
Views: 1430

Re: Creating Portfolio That Generates Income

I would run, not walk, away from an advisor trying to sell whole life. You could look at VPGDX - Vanguard Managed Payout Fund. Lots of other options for building dividend portfolio. Have you searched the forum? https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=147268 https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/...
by larklea
Sun Oct 02, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Guidance needed on IRAs/RMDs/Roths - Plan of Action
Replies: 23
Views: 3034

Re: Guidance needed on IRAs/RMDs/Roths - Plan of Action

I certainly agree that you need to do some study to determine your best options. Having said that, at first glance, I'd propose considering moving maybe $50k per year from IRA to Roth annually and pay the taxes from your non-retirement accounts. With nearly 8 years for you, this can get nearly 500k ...
by larklea
Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Anybody using Rick Ferri's "Total Economy Portfolio"?
Replies: 27
Views: 5510

Re: Anybody using Rick Ferri's "Total Economy Portfolio"?

Just looked at mine, turns out I'm 0.6% in REIT and 1.5% in SCV. Looking at the returns for the year, wish I was higher. This is the challenge with tilting, for me. I don't seem to be able to commit enough to the tilt to sufficiently affect the total portfolio return.
by larklea
Sun Oct 02, 2016 6:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Magic Formula - My Study - 1st Quarter
Replies: 9
Views: 2475

Re: Magic Formula - My Study - 1st Quarter

Watty - I actually agree with most of what you've said. It's my personal weakness to be swayed by some new strategy as compelling. Doing this, instead of actually investing, cures the 'itch'. It probably doesn't do much more than that, other than likely giving another nod to indexing as a better str...
by larklea
Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Magic Formula - My Study - 1st Quarter
Replies: 9
Views: 2475

Magic Formula - My Study - 1st Quarter

After reading about Magic Formula investing a few months ago, I decided to to a little study without actually investing any hard-earned money. At the same time, one of my co-workers was really talking up Dividend investing, so I decided to look at this also. My plan is to do this for one year and se...
by larklea
Sun Sep 25, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List
Replies: 275
Views: 50680

Re: The Bogleheads' "100 Things Worth Every Penny" List

This thread reminds me of Maslow's Heirarchy of Needs. We tend to leave off the REALLY important stuff, that we probably take for granted... Shelter Food Drinking water Indoor plumbing Reliable Transportation Companionship (not that you pay for this, hopefully :) ) Then comes all the rest, I'd rank ...
by larklea
Fri Sep 16, 2016 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Popping Gas Water Heater
Replies: 17
Views: 2369

Re: Popping Gas Water Heater

If you haven't been flushing it routinely, you're taking a risk if you try it now. You may end up with a spigot that will not re-close after you drain the heater. I wouldn't even try to drain it if it's been left alone for 11 years.

11 years is getting up there. Maybe consider replacement?
by larklea
Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years
Replies: 113
Views: 23550

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

One could move to southern Texas and probably live cheaper than in Central America. LOL, this made my day. I can name a few towns, but I'll control myself. There are a lot of places in the US where you can find some digs and live very cheaply. Is this the way YOU want to live, that's the question. ...
by larklea
Thu Sep 15, 2016 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Yet Another Newbie Looking for Input
Replies: 13
Views: 1527

Re: Yet Another Newbie Looking for Input

I'd agree that maxing the retirement funds and keeping the mortgage is the way to proceed. The interest rate is low and it's a 15 year note, so you'll be paying more principal sooner. I wouldn't bet yourself up, you're moving the right direction. We're weren't in that much better shape at your age a...
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Set SWR to Total Stock Market yield?
Replies: 11
Views: 1254

Re: Set SWR to Total Stock Market yield?

Let's say, for the sake of argument, that you're 50/50 AA. Now your withdrawal rate is 1.2%, assuming you never touch your bonds. That's probably sustainable into infinity, but that's only $12,000 a year from $1,000,000. If you are withdrawing from the income side, then your question is really unans...
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is A Two-Fund Portfolio All You Really Need?
Replies: 44
Views: 10029

Re: Is A Two-Fund Portfolio All You Really Need?

My dear wife has done quite well with Fidelity Balanced in her IRA. Yes, the ER is too high for me, but she never touches it and it chugs right along. Could she do better? Of course, arguably, given the right strategy and the conviction to stick with it and ignore the noise. Total Stock and TOtal Bo...
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: I am going to stop tilting. Sanity check.
Replies: 66
Views: 8444

Re: I am going to stop tilting. Sanity check.

One challenge, which you've already figured out, is that the markets can go a long time without rewarding the tilt. Growth/Value, Domestic/International. Been thinking about McClung's Prime Harvesting strategy for retirement income and having doubts that I could sit by and not rebalance for maybe ye...
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads Budget?
Replies: 113
Views: 17310

Re: Do Bogleheads Budget?

Never did, never will. Spend less than you earn and don't worry about it. I do run a spending report from MS Money maybe once a year, maybe not. I'm lucky that we were both raised to be conservative with our spending, so there's just no need. My parents didn't even keep a checkbook register, which i...
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What shape is your net worth curve?
Replies: 45
Views: 7895

Re: What shape is your net worth curve?

Exponential fit gives me an r2=0.974. Linear is 0.937. VIsually, it's not drastic. While I agree with the posters that exponential is expected, I doubt that the short time line (20-30 Years) for many us would really show a traditional exponential curve. http://i64.tinypic.com/alri34.png Meg77 - uplo...
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommended Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000
Replies: 27
Views: 4806

Re: Recommended Acoustic Guitars Under $1,000

Been a long time for me, but I'd see if one of these is nearby.

http://www.musicgoround.com/

It's where I unloaded the last of my 6 strings. Wish I'd kept the Squier that I bought new in '83, but I digress. Anyway, there's nothing like putting your hands on them.
by larklea
Tue Sep 13, 2016 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency
Replies: 56
Views: 9118

Re: Best Flashlight to keep in home for emergency

Several, but the newest one that I got as an award at work,Torch 250. Three different LED lights (spot, flood, red). Hand crank, USB, or Solar for power. USB charger port for your cell phone.

http://www.goalzero.com/p/239/torch-250-flashlight
by larklea
Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with my CD collection
Replies: 35
Views: 4449

Re: What to do with my CD collection

I too would recommend donating them to the local library. Typically, the Friends of the Library will then get them and sell them, either in their bookstore or their annual sale. Yes, they won't sell for much, maybe $1 each, but these purchases add up and all the proceeds go back into helping the lib...
by larklea
Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Edward Jones and my in-laws
Replies: 44
Views: 7357

Re: Edward Jones and my in-laws

You've just described my in laws. On the positive side, once the EJ investments have been purchased, it's (arguably) not costing them much money to stay there, assuming the EJ guy isn't churning the account. Best I can tell, they put most clients into the same mix of funds. Is it worth the battle? I...
by larklea
Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving more $ into cash - anybody else?
Replies: 14
Views: 2532

Re: Moving more $ into cash - anybody else?

Yes, I took a bit of money off the table recently. Probably not enough to really make a lot of difference, but I felt better after locking in some gains. I just retired Sept 1, so I'm a bit nervous, which plays into it also.
by larklea
Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you follow a VWR formula?
Replies: 13
Views: 1928

Re: Do you follow a VWR formula?

My spreadsheet gives me a range of WD, using several factors (nothing earth-shattering or worth mentioning). Today's my first day of retirement, hoping for the best ! For my spouse, I set up a spreadsheet which has a monthly WD that's adjusted upwards starting at 3.5% wd in the first year. Too conse...
by larklea
Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]
Replies: 470
Views: 119914

Re: [Book: Living off Your Money, by M. McClung (Prime Harvesting)]

GREAT thread! Whoever managed to work in 'central limit theorem' is alright by me! Prime harvesting looks very interesting. But, when you have most of your bonds in the tax deferred accounts and you're not 59.5, it's not viable is it? My takeaway is that a rising equity allocation can be good and th...
by larklea
Sun Aug 28, 2016 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cricket Wireless - Selecting a Smartphone
Replies: 46
Views: 5453

Re: Cricket Wireless - Selecting a Smartphone

The wife and I both have LG Cricket phones. We're not heavy users. We've been very pleased. We have the Optimus L70, which I'm not seeing on Cricket anymore. In your situation, I'd read the reviews on the cheaper of the Android phones and see where that takes you. I can't pay more than $100 for a ph...
by larklea
Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fear and Trembling (Aug. 31st is my last day at work)
Replies: 77
Views: 12778

Re: Fear and Trembling (Aug. 31st is my last day at work)

Aug 31 is my last day also. (Well, actually, it's the 30th, but who's counting). I enjoy my work, at least the part I consider real work. Not the MIckey Mouse BS, the commute, etc etc. I've found the last few weeks to be much harder than I expected. I honestly feel like screaming at the next person ...
by larklea
Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What portfolio rebalancing tool do you use?
Replies: 16
Views: 4282

Re: What portfolio rebalancing tool do you use?

YES - google sheets updates all the fund prices automatically when the sheet is opened.
by larklea
Sat Aug 27, 2016 7:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: spreadsheet [to organize a portfolio]
Replies: 23
Views: 3113

Re: spreadsheet [to organize a portfolio]

+1 Google Sheets. I keep a total portfolio sheet, primarily developed to give me asset allocation and expense ratio across all accounts.

I use the 'sunset' version of MIcrosoft Money plus also - for net worth, bank account reconcilations.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2118008
by larklea
Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?
Replies: 208
Views: 48522

Re: Frugality regret: What thing do you regret not spending on?

Not buying a home inside Loop 601 when I moved to the Houston area in 1987. The oil bust had hit hard and I would have made a killing, maybe 5X - 10X over 20 years. Plus it would have gotten me out of apartment living five years earlier.
by larklea
Sun Aug 21, 2016 6:59 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?
Replies: 85
Views: 9326

Re: Seemingly Too Good To Be True Investment Opportunity: Invest or Don't?

My impression is that you REALLY want to do this. You have a LOT of feedback that says walk away. Here's what I would do, I would give him maybe 0.5 or 1% of my investment portfolio. I would mentally write it off that I'll never get any of it back. Of it does work out, then it's great. If not, you h...
by larklea
Mon Aug 08, 2016 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Flat-fee fee-only adviser recommendations -- please
Replies: 10
Views: 1248

Re: Flat-fee fee-only adviser recommendations -- please

I went to a fee-only advisor in my area. He started with the "1% fee to manage everything, after you move it all to Schwab". I stopped him - not interested. Then $1000 or so annually to get his advice. Nope. FInally settled on a few hundred $ to do a one-time snapshot. It was OK, not great. It did c...