Search found 478 matches

by smectym
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: social security benefit - confused about choosing start date
Replies: 25
Views: 1761

Re: social security benefit - confused about choosing start date

Hilarious how the simplest social security query seems impervious to a simple answer. I can only report our experience, which is that if you tell SSA “Please start my benefit in Month X,” you will receive your first check in Month X + 1.
by smectym
Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Need advise on cash heavy portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 1479

Re: Need advise on cash heavy portfolio

Regarding SS, because you are 66 you would be able to claim a spousal SS benefit if your wife were to file NOW without claiming your own SS (thus allowing it to grow until age 70). This strategy works especially well if you were the higher wage earner. Have you run the numbers on this? Open Social ...
by smectym
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Central banks drive income seeking investors to equities
Replies: 32
Views: 1335

Re: Central banks drive income seeking investors to equities

As to savers who require non-fluctuation of principal, which is perfectly legitimate, those savers should simply take what the prevailing markets in CD’s, money market funds, and savings bonds offer. At least negative rates haven’t yet washed up on these shores. But even for such savers, once a core...
by smectym
Fri Sep 13, 2019 11:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% Withdrawal Rate Recommended by US News Columnist
Replies: 108
Views: 8973

Re: 5% Withdrawal Rate Recommended by US News Columnist

As to deciding how much and when to withdraw, eventually, the RMD’s take quite a bit of decision-making power out of our hands. And RMD’s remind us that the government would love for us to “live it up” because that’s more tax revenue sooner for the IRS. On some level, why should we care about payin...
by smectym
Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 5% Withdrawal Rate Recommended by US News Columnist
Replies: 108
Views: 8973

Re: 5% Withdrawal Rate Recommended by US News Columnist

As to deciding how much and when to withdraw, eventually, the RMD’s take quite a bit of decision-making power out of our hands. And RMD’s remind us that the government would love for us to “live it up” because that’s more tax revenue sooner for the IRS. On some level, why should we care about paying...
by smectym
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich people are hoarding cash
Replies: 101
Views: 14972

Re: Rich people are hoarding cash

Another rough-and-ready test for "Am I rich?" is: can you afford to pay cash for a 1700 square foot home in Palo Alto

https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/216- ... 5540_zpid/
by smectym
Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust
Replies: 50
Views: 7536

Re: Vanguard Flagship Services -- Another One Bites the Dust

I did do the CFP consult once, a number of years back, in the aftermath of the GFC. Actually I wish I had followed more of their advice since they would have positioned the portfolio more bullishly than I preferred--and as it turned out, boy were they right!
by smectym
Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Schwab cutting 600 jobs - announced today
Replies: 28
Views: 5391

Re: Schwab cutting 600 jobs - announced today

Schwab just opened an expansive new office in my area (small-to-midsize city). I was surprised. Doesn't seem to fit with the "moving to online-only" narrative; but sometimes the right hand doesn't know what the left is doing, or business models change in midstream.
by smectym
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Frustrated with Vanguard advisory service] Procedures on Death of a Spouse
Replies: 47
Views: 4264

Re: Vanguard Insane (?) Procedures on Death of a Spouse

eucalyptus, so sorry for your loss. My dad experienced the same upon the passing of my mom - accounts frozen, unenrolled from Personal Advisory Services, transition team assigned to help. In addition, I was automatically removed as an agent. Next, the transition team helped settle accounts. Then, w...
by smectym
Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:26 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich people are hoarding cash
Replies: 101
Views: 14972

Re: Rich people are hoarding cash

I use that because several trusts that preen themselves on offering white-glove service to “the rich” name $30 million as the minimum. Bessemer Trust is an example. Bessemer's average account size is well below that minimum. The allure of a special service is enough to get some people to pay more o...
by smectym
Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Frustrated with Vanguard advisory service] Procedures on Death of a Spouse
Replies: 47
Views: 4264

Re: Vanguard Insane (?) Procedures on Death of a Spouse

eucalyptus, so sorry for your loss. My dad experienced the same upon the passing of my mom - accounts frozen, unenrolled from Personal Advisory Services, transition team assigned to help. In addition, I was automatically removed as an agent. Next, the transition team helped settle accounts. Then, w...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Frustrated with Vanguard advisory service] Procedures on Death of a Spouse
Replies: 47
Views: 4264

Re: Vanguard Insane (?) Procedures on Death of a Spouse

Again, it appears many here are reacting to bad information and making quick judgements. I went through this process with VG in 2009,2011,2012 and 2016. Each time we were assigned a special representative to guide us through the forms and requirements. Each time we found the VG contact to be very h...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited Annuity question(s)
Replies: 24
Views: 1329

Re: Inherited Annuity question(s)

My quick take is to take a look at your 2019 tax situation and withdraw at least the amount to the top of your current tax bracket. Then I'd withdraw the rest in January 2020. That saves the hassle of a 1035 annuity move to Vanguard or Fidelity. If your income is in the $400k range, and you're marr...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to talk my elderly parents into seeing an elder lawyer.
Replies: 17
Views: 1988

Re: Trying to talk my elderly parents into seeing an elder lawyer.

Since, as OP concedes, neither parent is currently ready for assisted living or a nursing home, goading and herding them into a flurry of “planning for the next stage” is premature. Leave them in peace
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited Annuity question(s)
Replies: 24
Views: 1329

Re: Inherited Annuity question(s)

Contra several posters above, Vanguard is exiting the annuity business and is probably no longer accepting new accounts. Check out doing a 1035 to Fidelity, though: Fidelity’s VA lineup has become more competitive, with the addition of several low-cost index funds. https://www.forbes.com/sites/matt...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inherited Annuity question(s)
Replies: 24
Views: 1329

Re: Inherited Annuity question(s)

Contra several posters above, Vanguard is exiting the annuity business and is probably no longer accepting new accounts. Check out doing a 1035 to Fidelity, though: Fidelity’s VA lineup has become more competitive, with the addition of several low-cost index funds. https://www.forbes.com/sites/mattc...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Frustrated with Vanguard advisory service] Procedures on Death of a Spouse
Replies: 47
Views: 4264

Re: Vanguard Insane (?) Procedures on Death of a Spouse

The information that an account clearly naming a sole beneficiary "would be frozen" is interesting, Accounts are 'frozen' at every bank and brokerage account until a certified death cert is submitted. (It took 6+ weeks to obtain a certified death cert in my mom's California county.) Once I submitte...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich people are hoarding cash
Replies: 101
Views: 14972

Re: Rich people are hoarding cash

I use that because several trusts that preen themselves on offering white-glove service to “the rich” name $30 million as the minimum. Bessemer Trust is an example. Bessemer's average account size is well below that minimum. The allure of a special service is enough to get some people to pay more o...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich people are hoarding cash
Replies: 101
Views: 14972

Re: Rich people are hoarding cash

I use that because several trusts that preen themselves on offering white-glove service to “the rich” name $30 million as the minimum. Bessemer Trust is an example. Bessemer's average account size is well below that minimum. The allure of a special service is enough to get some people to pay more o...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Frustrated with Vanguard advisory service] Procedures on Death of a Spouse
Replies: 47
Views: 4264

Re: Vanguard Insane (?) Procedures on Death of a Spouse

My parents, longtime Flagship clients, began using Vanguard's advisory service after my father became unable to manage their finances. My father, an engineer with a deep background in math, was a meticulous investor who Monte Carloed (and whatever else you do) with the best of you and wanted only o...
by smectym
Tue Sep 10, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich people are hoarding cash
Replies: 101
Views: 14972

Re: Rich people are hoarding cash

“what is rich” I think the lowest number for net investable assets where just about everyone will say, “ok, you’re rich, alright?!” Is $30 million. I use that because several trusts that preen themselves on offering white-glove service to “the rich” name $30 million as the minimum. Bessemer Trust i...
by smectym
Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Rich people are hoarding cash
Replies: 101
Views: 14972

Re: Rich people are hoarding cash

“what is rich” I think the lowest number for net investable assets where just about everyone will say, “ok, you’re rich, alright?!” Is $30 million. I use that because several trusts that preen themselves on offering white-glove service to “the rich” name $30 million as the minimum. Bessemer Trust is...
by smectym
Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 10677

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

Just as an addendum, tipping protocol isn’t unrelated to the financial circumstances of the tipper. If the tipper needs to watch every penny, then by all means, be a “Scrooge” when it comes to gratuities—not “don’t tip,” but cut it fine, because one must. If the tipper is in better shape financially...
by smectym
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:42 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?
Replies: 99
Views: 10677

Re: Did I commit a tipping faux pas?

Hi there Bogleheads - I recently moved... I hired a moving company to haul my stuff from the old house to the new one. Their fee was about $575. They sent two guys out to do the job, which took about five hours. When their work was done, I told them that I didn't know the protocol for such situatio...
by smectym
Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 32 Yr old DINKS Portfolio Advice
Replies: 10
Views: 1890

Re: 32 Yr old DINKS Portfolio Advice

To diversify your portfolio into non-correlated assets, have a couple of kids
by smectym
Thu Sep 05, 2019 4:06 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Looking for stream of dividends
Replies: 61
Views: 4854

Re: Looking for stream of dividends

Good morning, I’m recently retired (age 72)my wife is 60. I am trying to design a steady stream of dividends to add to our income. I receive $2700 a month in social security. I’ve been receiving about $1000 a month from prime money market but because of the fed reducing rates that amount is shrinki...
by smectym
Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:01 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: 3% is the new 4%
Replies: 662
Views: 47867

Re: Larry Swedroe: 3% is the new 4%

Can’t read all 521 posts, but I read a slug of them, none of which mentioned Variable Percentage Withdrawal (“VPW”), as opposed to setting a rigid 4%, 3%, 3.33%, or other withdrawal rate at the outset of drawdown, then letting it ride come what may. https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Variable_percentag...
by smectym
Sun Sep 01, 2019 4:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 213
Views: 12488

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

I’m 69, about the age my father first started showing signs of Alzheimer’s which eventually killed him at age 77. I have a increased probability to contract that disease (DNA testing). But so far so good. >> Staying fit and active apparently reduces your risk<< “staying fit and active” can be a bit...
by smectym
Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rate
Replies: 18
Views: 1989

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rate

Since you said conservative then it's 3% SWR, a lot of the charts and data I have seen rate 3% as having a 100% success rate even at extended intervals and backtested for the worst retirement period in history which is 1966-96. Since the period starting 1966+ was particularly horrific you can have ...
by smectym
Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:04 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Safe Withdrawal Rate
Replies: 18
Views: 1989

Re: Safe Withdrawal Rate

Go with VPW (Variable Percentage Withdrawal), with thanks to the boglers who did the work—and apologies if it’s already been referenced above, just briefly scrolled the replies

https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Variabl ... withdrawal
by smectym
Fri Aug 30, 2019 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?
Replies: 213
Views: 12488

Re: What is your plan for the last few years of a long life?

Nothing idyllic. From what I’ve seen of it, there’s a lot of pain, humiliation, and horror involved, for the dying one and everyone around him.
by smectym
Mon Aug 26, 2019 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The One-Fund Portfolio as a default suggestion
Replies: 81
Views: 9191

Re: The One-Fund Portfolio as a default suggestion

There are indeed advantages to one-fund and these have been aptly canvassed by OP and others. While I still suspect that locating assets with a view to taxation will, for the disciplined investor, in the long run yield superior tax-adjusted returns, “one fund” offers significant psychological advant...
by smectym
Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financially independent - now completely lost
Replies: 30
Views: 5434

Re: Financially independent - now completely lost

RM, sounds like you've done a lot of things right. It's natural and healthy to question and take stock of oneself, ones family and so on. Don't try to fix things that aren't broken. Starting dust-ups with the kids about internet screentime etc. is not the way to go. Take them out to a ballgame or so...
by smectym
Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: No Vanguard Customer Support on weekends
Replies: 76
Views: 10524

Re: No Vanguard Customer Support on weekends

Some of us have been with Vanguard for 20 years or more. Maybe we're too used to giving Vanguard a pass on its shortcomings, in light of the many things they have done well, especially the great funds they have provided at lower and lower ER's. Let's hope one day we don't wake up and find out that V...
by smectym
Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Close Vanguard and go all in with Fidelity?
Replies: 107
Views: 11680

Re: Close Vanguard and go all in with Fidelity?

Vanguard blazed the low-expense trail. For a long time Fidelity and other firms lagged behind. Now competition is heating up. Fidelity has improved a lot. Vanguard's weaknesses, especially in customer service, have started to annoy more bogleheads. But some on this forum still have an attachment to ...
by smectym
Fri Aug 23, 2019 10:56 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: What is the perpetual SWR for a 100% VWRD/VWRA portfolio?
Replies: 32
Views: 2166

Re: What is the perpetual SWR for a 100% VWRD/VWRA portfolio?

100% stock allocation is usually not recommended for retirement, since the return variance would be too high. 60% stock / 40% bond would be more typical. Sample portfolio 60% SPDR MSCI World UCITS (ticker symbol SWRD.L) 40% iShares Core Global Aggregate Bond UCITS ETF USD Hedged (ticker symbol AGGU...
by smectym
Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $1M cash: how to invest
Replies: 40
Views: 3444

Re: $1M cash: how to invest

OP indicates he favors a gradualist approach. That’s not a bad idea in this environment. Therefore, OP should place the $1M in the money market fund and gradually bleed it into a balanced fund over the next 12 months. That leaves the burning question if the mortgage, I suggest OP gradually prepay th...
by smectym
Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Change to Personal Adviser Services
Replies: 29
Views: 2694

Re: Vanguard Change to Personal Adviser Services

As one who tried PAS for a couple of years and exited, I agree with the negative trend of commentary above. In particular: the idea that somehow ones’ “not interested in finance at all spouse” is going to benefit from the service in some way is probably not well-founded. That was one of my motivatio...
by smectym
Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best undergrad majors ahead of Law school?
Replies: 75
Views: 3596

Re: Best undergrad majors ahead of Law school?

I'm an attorney, now mainly retired. I majored in English and at the time that was seen as a premier pre-law major. Once at the firm, I saw that while that was still true, areas of law like patent were already snapping up Engineering and all STEM majors, and that trend has only accelerated. But if y...
by smectym
Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody else enjoy sitting around and doing little in retirement?
Replies: 70
Views: 8043

Re: Anybody else enjoy sitting around and doing little in retirement?

I let the outside activities "come to me," but don't go looking for them (or do them only) for fear of having nothing to do. So far that has worked out well. I think the #1 fear I would have in retirement is living alone--something I've never done except for a couple of months when I was 17, and I d...
by smectym
Tue Aug 20, 2019 12:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit card annual fee coming up - what to do?
Replies: 25
Views: 2755

Re: Credit card annual fee coming up - what to do?

If you’re in love with the card, then go through the process of calling and begging for waivers etc. but my advice is to cancel the card. One option might be to try a card like Chase Sapphire where the steep annual fee, or much of it, is offset by other credits and you rack up a lot of rewards point...
by smectym
Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Revisiting EE Bonds given 20 year treasury bond at ~1.9%
Replies: 31
Views: 2338

Re: Revisiting EE Bonds given 20 year treasury bond at ~1.9%

As to the conundrum of whether to hold EE bonds vs. I bonds, the correct answer is “plenty of both.” As to the conundrum of whether to hold EE/I bonds vs. equities: same answer.
by smectym
Sat Aug 17, 2019 11:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Don’t put new money in market right now??
Replies: 59
Views: 7443

Re: Don’t put new money in market right now??

(1) Go to the well-known website haven of those crotchety, anti-market-timing bogleheads. (2) Post something with a “market-timing” hook to it and adopt a callow, “hey guys, just want to know your thoughts, whaddaya think, huh guys?” pose. (3) Sit back and watch the (OK pretty predictable and not re...
by smectym
Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has anybody bought Wellington,Wellesley,LifeStra and just said the heck with the taxes or is that just dumb in taxable?
Replies: 48
Views: 3087

Re: Has anybody bought Wellington,Wellesley,LifeStra and just said the heck with the taxes or is that just dumb in taxa

The advice to segregate stocks (in taxable) and bonds (in tax deferred) is solid advice. However, for those who prefer the Balanced Fund approach, perhaps consider Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced in taxable, it's not perfect from the standpoint of tax-minimization, but it is an excellent balanced fund...
by smectym
Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Income stream for 10 years
Replies: 39
Views: 4654

Re: Income stream for 10 years

Suggest a 10 year ladder of $2000 bank (not broker) CD's. Simple, and might mostly keep up with inflation. I think a 10 year fixed term annuity will be expensive and inflexible. >>>There is virtually no logical reason I've seen to ever use a 10 year period certain annuity.<<< You can achieve the sa...
by smectym
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The fallacy of Dollar Cost Averaging
Replies: 101
Views: 8480

Re: The fallacy of Dollar Cost Averaging

If someone not used to handling large sums of money suddenly received a large sum of money in a windfall, and that individual asked me to advise them on lump-sum vs. DCA, I would explain the advantages and disadvantages of each approach (including citing the statistical studies which would appear to...
by smectym
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to sell I-Bonds?
Replies: 18
Views: 1911

Re: Is it time to sell I-Bonds?

Just looking at the composite rate of the I bonds we hold on Treasury Direct right now, it looks like right around 2.75% (individual bond composite rate ranges from 2.1% to 3.53%). Supposing I were to sell them and pay tax on them, where would I get a better deal, including zero principal fluctuatio...
by smectym
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Strategies for reducing volitility and effort in a taxable account?
Replies: 15
Views: 1515

Re: Strategies for reducing volitility and effort in a taxable account?

Probably no need for special "low-vol" funds. Just figure out the amount you want to dampen down the volatility of your stock portfolio and do it with bonds and/or cash. I use both. Sure, keep the bonds in tax-deferred if possible. The tax advice is absolutely correct. But if you do, that means you ...
by smectym
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are you a "solo ager?"
Replies: 133
Views: 17487

Re: Are you a "solo ager?"

There are tragic situations. However, there is a lot of marketing of “cognitive decline,” and as we age we’ll find relatives ( some disinterested but others with an agenda), medical professsionals, and financial advisors or would-be advisors seeking to pry control of assets away from the earners of ...
by smectym
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:09 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy historic, walkable home or stay in blah subdivision with short commute?
Replies: 56
Views: 5802

Re: Buy historic, walkable home or stay in blah subdivision with short commute?

“Historic” and “Walkable” are marketing cliches. I wouldn’t fall for them. Stay in the blah subdivision: that’s where real life is lived.