Search found 113 matches

by smectym
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?
Replies: 28
Views: 2187

Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Leaving aside necessity scenarios such as illness or other matters beyond ones control: Not generally a good idea to quit a high-paying job and take a sabbatical absent one of three enabling conditions: (1) You have achieved financial independence. No matter your age, your accumulated wealth will ge...
by smectym
Sun Jun 24, 2018 12:11 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 year old investor [Australia]
Replies: 14
Views: 722

Re: 28 year old investor [Australia]

Reviewing the allocation, and taking OP’s explanation that he’s All-Australia for tax purposes as a given, I’d say Young Saver (“YS”) is doing it right. Yes, if upon review YS can find a way to diversify to (1) the U.S. market, and secondarily and to a lesser degree, (2) international ex-U.S, withou...
by smectym
Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you retire on $2M?
Replies: 122
Views: 11457

Re: Can you retire on $2M?

The “COULD I live on $60K, COULD I live on $80K,” with a lot of “No” answers or skepticism (though admittedly some going the other way) provides insight to the conservatism and risk-sensitivity of many on this board. In any ways it’s laudable and frankly I share the same near—...well, paranoia isn’t...
by smectym
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28 year old investor [Australia]
Replies: 14
Views: 722

Re: 28 year old investor [Australia]

Young Saver is clearly ahead of the game, and therefore too intelligent to pull some puerile stunt such as refusing the inheritance; no doubt WanderingDoc is adroitly deploying the rhetorical trope of hyperbole to make his valid point: invest, and save and live ones life, AS IF one had no coming inh...
by smectym
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 nights in Vegas
Replies: 42
Views: 2320

Re: 3 nights in Vegas

My advice is never to leave the hotel. We’re in Vegas right now. Not the place to come for outdoor activities. We don’t gamble except for “parlays” on baseball games. I won’t bore the forum with the details, but basically you can bet a modest sum and if your guesses turn up aces on three or four gam...
by smectym
Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?
Replies: 102
Views: 7222

Re: Did you celebrate when you finally hit $1m?

For us, hitting the $1M mark had to do with the sale of a home and moving to a less bubbly location. We celebrated the sale but it took a while to notice that as a result our investable net worth had hit 7 figures. That was great but didn’t constitute a separate and independent excuse to party Smectym
by smectym
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18
Replies: 68
Views: 11808

Re: Savings Bond Wizard to be eliminated 5/18

And I can't see any possible reason anyone would want to have paper bonds unless they had some special very non-standard needs. Who says you need a reason. Some of us old coots prefer Savings Bonds the way they were always meant to be. We might have to hold our stocks and bonds in electronic book s...
by smectym
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A different theoretical view of SWR
Replies: 63
Views: 3714

Re: A different theoretical view of SWR

A little-discussed problem with SWR theory is that it always assumes a unitary portfolio of x stocks / y bonds, consisting of substantially all a retiree’s investable assets, all of which is being drawn down at this or that % rate. These are simplifying assumptions convenient for facilitating academ...
by smectym
Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor Services
Replies: 45
Views: 3220

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

>- ... do a one time full financial review who can actually make sure you are on track, have all your ducks in a row and then >recommend an asset allocation with index funds. Can do a review every year or two if the need arises. Yet another of the cumulative list of reasons we quit VPAS: as Flagship...
by smectym
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have $3m at 33, "approach to career" advice needed
Replies: 99
Views: 12456

Re: Have $3m at 33, "approach to career" advice needed

gcc32, go to much-maligned law school. That’s what I did at your age and it worked. Sounds like your “Hi, I’m Jay Gatsby” CV will resonate at many schools. Study hard for and take the LSAT. If you haven’t given up on a traditional career path altogether, don’t reflexively dismiss this option. Smectym
by smectym
Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interesting Social Security analysis
Replies: 16
Views: 2295

Re: Interesting Social Security analysis

No doubt this has been addressed in other strings...I hope I didn’t miss it addressed above. Isn’t “Take It at Seventy” dogma negated in the case of those households grandfathered in to the regime under which high-earning Spouse A starts the benefit at FRA (say $2600/month) and relatively lower-earn...
by smectym
Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory
Replies: 41
Views: 4823

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory

Schwab allocates a part of your portfolio in cash, which creates a cash drag. This is their main way of revenue, it is poor value for customers. VPAS is a good choice thanks to the reliability that vanguard provides about looking after your interests, as well as offering human interaction. Not only...
by smectym
Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory
Replies: 41
Views: 4823

Re: Vanguard Personal Advisory Services vs. Schwab Intelligent Advisory

Schwab allocates a part of your portfolio in cash, which creates a cash drag. This is their main way of revenue, it is poor value for customers. VPAS is a good choice thanks to the reliability that vanguard provides about looking after your interests, as well as offering human interaction. Not only...
by smectym
Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor Services
Replies: 45
Views: 3220

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

We are the sort of household where I am obsessed with the markets, asset management and so on and my spouse couldn't care less about the nuts and bolts of it. That was one of several reasons we signed up with PAS--if "something happened" to me, spouse would have a contact person to turn to. And we w...
by smectym
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth
Replies: 55
Views: 6608

Re: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth

Incorrectly attributed WanderingDoc’s “you cannot shrink your way to wealth” to OP—apologies
by smectym
Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth
Replies: 55
Views: 6608

Re: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth

The premise of OP’s sloganeering retort to those who suggest spending less and saving more, “You cannot shrink your way to wealth!” logically equates wealth with current consumption. An obvious (though widespread) fallacy. The admittedly cliched advice to “skip the SBUX Latte Frappuccino Whatever” h...
by smectym
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2542

Re: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio

I like the idea of an SPIA annuity ladder. As your regular portfolio grows, periodically peel some off for an SPIA (in modest amounts like $100,000). Since, in theory, your portfolio will grow with inflation (or ahead of it), you are locking in these gains with income from "found money." It's a var...
by smectym
Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Advisor Services
Replies: 45
Views: 3220

Re: Vanguard Advisor Services

We tried VPAS with a chunk of our assets—a minority of what’s at Vanguard— partly because we just made a decision to “try several different roboadvisors.” But yes, agree with the general sentiment here. Same experience as OP, the original allocation was plain vanilla—which is fine, but anyone can do...
by smectym
Tue Jun 12, 2018 1:53 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio
Replies: 31
Views: 2542

Re: Annuity/Pension subsitutes for portfolio

OP, to the extent you’re truly annuity-averse, check out Vanguard Managed Payout funds. This product has pluses and minuses, but deliver on providing regular monthly income without undue costs or irrevocable loss of control of assets. https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/managed-payout/#/ Howe...
by smectym
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Net worth in retirement: How do you know when "enough is enough"?]
Replies: 15
Views: 2624

Re: [Net worth in retirement: How do you know when "enough is enough"?]

thanks everyone for your thoughts and insight and our somewhat admittedly irrational fear of retirement and probably taking on too much burden of our childrens success. It is helpful. Its just that when you have had this kind of success that eludes 95% of the world and how much luck is involved in ...
by smectym
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE savings bonds “doubling” in 2019
Replies: 7
Views: 1416

Re: EE savings bonds “doubling” in 2019

If we continue to hold them, will interest going forward compound on the newly adjusted higher face value amount, or only on the underlying principal value absent the Treasury guarantee? Can’t find this nuance addressed on the Treasury Direct website. The interest going forward is based on a recent...
by smectym
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:56 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth
Replies: 55
Views: 6608

Re: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth

supalong52, the scholarly monograph on “Incidence of Narcissistic-Obsessive Disorder Among Posters Requesting Portfolio Evaluation and Advice on Bogleheads.Org” has yet to be written. But in a more serious vein, the mere fact that OP is fixating on the passive income theme suggests that, in a broad...
by smectym
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE savings bonds “doubling” in 2019
Replies: 7
Views: 1416

Re: EE savings bonds “doubling” in 2019

Addendum: statistically, one of the bond holders will probably still be alive in 2032

Smectym
by smectym
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth
Replies: 55
Views: 6608

Re: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth

Most of the suggestions made by other posters above are worth taking a second look at rather than “taking batting practice” on them as they reach home plate. He seems to have all the answers already. Not sure why he is asking questions here... supalong52, the scholarly monograph on “Incidence of Na...
by smectym
Sun Jun 10, 2018 11:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: EE savings bonds “doubling” in 2019
Replies: 7
Views: 1416

EE savings bonds “doubling” in 2019

We seem to have quite a few EE savings bonds purchased in 2002 (later, we switched to buying mostly I bonds, and I was a little surprised to find these paper EE’s in the safe). In 2002, Treasury guaranteed these bonds would double in value (to match the face value) in 17 years. So these should all d...
by smectym
Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VMMXX (Vanguard Prime MM) risks
Replies: 71
Views: 7411

Re: VMMXX (Vanguard Prime MM) risks

The posts above are instructive. In addition, the key issue regarding the safety of Vanguard Prime Money Market is spotlighted here: https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/money-market-reform/ In a future crisis, under recently drafted SEC regs, Prime may be subject to mandatory “gates” (tempora...
by smectym
Sun Jun 10, 2018 2:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth
Replies: 55
Views: 6608

Re: 35 and Need Help With Building Wealth

Chronotriggered, you’ve got the right general idea: have a plan toward financial independence. Most of the suggestions made by other posters above are worth taking a second look at rather than “taking batting practice” on them as they reach home plate. I couldn’t decipher all of your portfolio: ex-R...
by smectym
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Stuck in Quicksand (Guidance Appreciated)
Replies: 46
Views: 3359

Re: Stuck in Quicksand (Guidance Appreciated)

“Late 30’s” is not too late for law school. Take my word for it. However, OP is pushing it. OP should study hard for and take the LSAT. That score will tell OP all he needs to know about his chances to make a “top 14” law school. Asking about it on this forum isn’t going to clarify matters much for ...
by smectym
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Penfed CD @ 3% - 5 year
Replies: 16
Views: 2181

Re: Penfed CD @ 3% - 5 year

I read the title of this thread, and I thought it was referring to the old CDs from 2013. Back then, in Dec. 2013, PenFed came out with the 3% 5 year CD, and it blew every other bank away! It was way higher than everyone else, and lots of people here jumped on it, including myself. Now 5 years late...
by smectym
Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: What If Your Plan Fails?
Replies: 49
Views: 4787

Re: Larry Swedroe: What If Your Plan Fails?

Suggest allocating a sum sufficient to fund basic retirement needs to assets such as Series I Savings Bonds (full faith and credit, tax-deferred 30 years, rate inflation adjusted, exempt from state tax). We followed that approach (largely due to boglehead agitation) since around 2000 and now the sav...
by smectym
Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and your portfolio?
Replies: 23
Views: 2309

Re: FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and your portfolio?

In some ways I empathize with those who counsel not following the news and never checking ones portfolio so as not to succumb to a FOMO impulse. The problem is that willful ignorance carries its own risk. And if, as the portfolio decision-maker, you’re responsible for the financial well-being of oth...
by smectym
Wed Jun 06, 2018 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Savings Bond Wizard replacement is available
Replies: 9
Views: 3309

Re: Savings Bond Wizard replacement is available

Somewhat bemused that no third-party app provider has stepped into the void and offered a replacement for SBW. But that sends a signal: not too many of us old fools still messing around with their quaint savings bonds

Smectym
by smectym
Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Don’t cheat yourself with the 4% rule
Replies: 159
Views: 17967

Re: Don’t cheat yourself with the 4% r

“I’m planning on a 2.5% [1.5%...0.5%...] portfolio withdrawal rate” is more an implicit brag about the size of poster’s portfolio than a reasoned objection to the so-called 4% rule. To the extent that is even a rule, 4% is designed for retirees of *relatively* modest means who are concerned—in their...
by smectym
Tue Jun 05, 2018 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2020

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

The OP should check the "guaranteed" rate on annuitization. Interest rates were much higher 20 years ago, and the guaranteed rate could be in excess of 4%. OP here. Good point, and thanks for that. However, it makes me think about a different alternative. I've had the annuity invested in 4-5 relati...
by smectym
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2020

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

...it’s striking how often those who knock VA’s pass over this point in silence—the very same downside applies to 401(k)’s and IRA’s. All equity capital appreciation and dividend income earned within a 401(k) or regular IRA is taxed upon withdrawal at the higher ordinary income rate." Having both w...
by smectym
Tue Jun 05, 2018 8:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2020

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

On taking distributions from a variable annuity: it generally makes sense to take any distributions via a1035 exchange to a monthly income annuity. Once again, it comes down to taxes. When you just call Fidelity and say, “send me a check for $50,000 from my VA,” the entire sum (up to total account e...
by smectym
Tue Jun 05, 2018 6:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?
Replies: 41
Views: 2020

Re: Annuitizing a deferred / variable annuity?

As far as taxation is concerned, variable annuities have both drawbacks and advantages. On the one hand, within the VA, interest, income and capital gains can accumulate without current-year taxation for decades—potentially many decades. The rules requiring Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) that ...
by smectym
Sat Jun 02, 2018 12:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Medically Retired at Age 30 [Looking for financial stability - 100% Disabled Vet]
Replies: 9
Views: 1718

Re: Medically Retired at Age 30 [Looking for financial stability - 100% Disabled Vet]

mac1934, your post raises lots of issues, let me just focus on one. You say you have “no credit.” Does that mean never applied for credit cards, auto loan, etc...or you had credit and went delinquent? If the latter—and this was my experience after getting out of the Army—it’s not a bad idea to call ...
by smectym
Fri Jun 01, 2018 11:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for assisting 18 year old son after high school
Replies: 70
Views: 5246

Re: Advice for assisting 18 year old son after high school

OP, your stated plan or some variation of it seems sound. Above all, keep lines of communication open with your son. Don’t send signals that make him reluctant or afraid to tell you that he is in trouble, that he screwed up “again!” or is depressed or whatever. A lot of the “tough love” talk is dang...
by smectym
Wed May 30, 2018 9:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS
Replies: 90
Views: 5372

Re: Creative Planning vs Vanguard PAS

We tried PAS for several years. It was all right, but we’ve just exited. Once the asset allocation is set based on Vanguard’s algorithm, there’s not going to be much (any) tinkering with the portfolio barring some significant change in your personal circumstances. That’s consistent with their approa...
by smectym
Sun May 27, 2018 11:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: work one more year or attend law school
Replies: 67
Views: 5040

Re: work one more year or attend law school

Yes, if OP goes to a top 5 school and doesn’t crash and burn, and assuming OP decides to go the conventional route and interview OCI in Fall as a 2L, OP will likely get a job at a large law firm paying $180,000, or more if Cravath has upped the ante in the meanwhile. After that, nothing is guarantee...
by smectym
Fri May 25, 2018 1:21 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey
Replies: 59
Views: 12250

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

I’ve been a Vanguard customer for many years and like most on this forum recognize the value of their low-cost investment philosophy. But I must concur that customer service is increasingly a farce. We finally dropped Vanguard Personal Advisor because of a revolving-door of coming-and-going Advisor ...
by smectym
Fri May 25, 2018 12:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: US T bills - first time user
Replies: 113
Views: 8513

Re: US T bills - first time user

Who knows (I don’t), but the rate spike at the short end of the Treasury curve may prove to be short-lived. I too have been buying some T-bills but also leavening the portfolio by purchasing 2 year notes, which, last I checked, were yielding 2.52%. The 2-year may prove to be the sweet spot on the yi...
by smectym
Tue May 22, 2018 11:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio
Replies: 18
Views: 1603

Re: Schwab Intelligent Portfolio

Schwab IP’s mandatory cash allocation is one issue. As market-based money market fund interest rates climb, Schwab’s insistence on pegging its interest rate on cash to the “average BANK money market rate” as computed by Bankrate becomes an even bigger issue. While money market fund rates climb towar...
by smectym
Tue May 15, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawal Rates – Part 24: Flexibility Myths vs. Reality
Replies: 98
Views: 10556

Re: Withdrawal Rates – Part 24: Flexibility Myths vs. Reality

I don't think you are weird and I share you sentiment. My current target is 1.6% But I have a goal of leaving a legacy. Good for Mr. Potatohead. Those who smirkingly slap the “Spending My Kids’ Inheritance” bumpersticker on their ugly RV are thoughtless vulgarians. It is our duty, if we have means,...
by smectym
Tue May 15, 2018 12:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawal Rates – Part 24: Flexibility Myths vs. Reality
Replies: 98
Views: 10556

Re: Withdrawal Rates – Part 24: Flexibility Myths vs. Reality

We just withdraw roughly 4% from some accounts but leave other accounts alone. Then we have a lot of savings bonds, which don’t easily fit into most SWR analyses. And CD’s...mainly just roll those over. We spend a lot of money to support one kid who’s now entering law school, but most of that expend...
by smectym
Fri May 11, 2018 3:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%
Replies: 104
Views: 12675

Re: Total Bond - SEC yield breaks 3%

The 2 year treasury note currently yields 2.52%. That is state-tax free, which can be a big deal if you live in CA, NY or several other states. Bank CD's can't offer the state tax exemption. And note the essentially risk-free yield (when held 2 years to maturity) compared to the risk to ones princip...
by smectym
Sun May 06, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%
Replies: 62
Views: 7426

Re: I-bond fixed rate = 0.3%

We have over 100 different savings bonds purchased over about 20 years...now they’ve pulled the plug on SBW! I know Treasury has promised a magically seamless export of SBW values to their “Savings Bond Calculator” but as of today Sunday 5/6, the links to those pages are down. I’m sure it’ll happen ...
by smectym
Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to hold ~500K cash
Replies: 25
Views: 3355

Re: Where to hold ~500K cash

The latest quote on the year treasury bill rate is 2.06%. OP can buy the 1yr for that portion of the $500K OP really won't need for one year. For funds needed sooner, Vanguard Treasury Money Market offers a time-lagged yield, but the convenience of check-writing to meet quarterly estimated tax payme...
by smectym
Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone Deleting Facebook?
Replies: 338
Views: 24188

Re: Anyone Deleting Facebook?

Also never used FB. Several years ago I did join LinkedIn after several guys in my office complex intimated there was something suspicious about someone with no “web footprint”! I never update the profile or check the site but I now have a web footprint. Sounds like the sedimentary trace of an extin...