Search found 276 matches

by Shawn
Mon Jul 25, 2011 2:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Latest interview with Bill Bernstein from IndexUniverse
Replies: 97
Views: 13169

After reading thru this thread again, I am certain that at least one group of Bogleheads have cashed in, severed all ties, and moved into the bunker for the pending crash: our moderators ; o/w this thread would have been lock down long ago. :lol: Yes. What other possible explanation could there be?...
by Shawn
Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Introduction to itemizing?
Replies: 15
Views: 1972

Re: Introduction to itemizing?

As for state (or local) taxes, in addition to deducting state taxes that are regularly withheld from your paycheck, don't forget to deduct any tax payment you made in 2011 for 2010 state taxes (e.g., a payment made on April 15 of this year for last years taxes).
by Shawn
Sat Jul 16, 2011 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retiring early - How to plan 10 years out
Replies: 70
Views: 7588

And I'm not sure why one person _not_ working while another continues to work is a "strange lifestyle choice." I feel like that happens *all* the time, but usually it's the woman who stays home while the man continues to work. You are correct. Some people were bound to object to your plan...
by Shawn
Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Hard to choose: Honda Fit/Civic & Toyota Corolla
Replies: 38
Views: 7695

I purchased a 2010 Honda Fit (5-speed) last July to supplement my 1980 Toyota Corolla. In addition to the Fit, I was considering the Civic, Corolla, Matrix, Yaris, and Elantra Touring. It came down to the Fit and Elantra Touring. I test drove both. While the Elantra provided a *little* bit more for ...
by Shawn
Sun Jul 03, 2011 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: advertising by Rick Ferri
Replies: 91
Views: 10599

I read two of Rick's books ("All About Asset Allocation" and "All About Index Funds") even before I knew the bogleheads existed, so it was a delight when I came here and found him to be a regular poster. Sometime later, I was in the bookstore thumbing through his "The ETF Bo...
by Shawn
Sun Jul 03, 2011 6:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you have enough income to retire do you risk more / less?
Replies: 18
Views: 2395

I plan to early retire next year at age 52, if not sooner. I have a pension that should cover my living expenses for the rest of my life. In fact, at my present standard of living, I will remain in the accumulation phase throughout retirement. Sure, something could happen to the pension but there is...
by Shawn
Sat Jul 02, 2011 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ING purchased by Capitial One
Replies: 9
Views: 2397

I have MM accounts at both Capital One and ING. I did this several years ago so I could play their interest rates off each other, although in practice I have not strongly followed this plan. While I don't have too much experience with their customer service, I consider both institutions about the sa...
by Shawn
Sun Jun 26, 2011 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When doing an AA model do you consider
Replies: 10
Views: 1475

Other than the money in my wallet and the jar of change at home, I include everything as part of my AA. I do this more out of bookkeeping ease rather than some theoretical meaning behind AA. Large cash allocations have only modest impact on AA. Consider someone with a $1M 60/40 portfolio, which incl...
by Shawn
Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The idea of not being able to afford healthcare...
Replies: 63
Views: 5479

What I'm curious about is those who don't have insurance but need life saving care of a non-urgent nature (like chemo). I have a friend who has overstayed her visiting status in this country. She does not have insurance. She is able to get standard preventative and investigative care at no cost (pa...
by Shawn
Sun Jun 19, 2011 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A bicycle to learn to bike?
Replies: 67
Views: 7567

I am assuming that the perfect fit is important for re-learning . Once I re-learn I should be able to ride rented and borrowed bikes. This is the key. You want something that feels good and is controllable. I might shy away from the word "comfort." In bicycle terminology, comfort often re...
by Shawn
Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Loading Up on Tax-Deferred Accounts
Replies: 26
Views: 2378

Personally, I would definitely max out the 403b and 457 plans, and do a backdoor Roth if you have the opportunity. That's basically what I do, although I no longer have both a 403b and 457 (just a 401k). It sounds like you are in the ~45% marginal tax bracket (federal plus state, with AMT so no item...
by Shawn
Thu Jun 16, 2011 1:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the market pricing in now?
Replies: 14
Views: 1436

As an individual investor, I don't price anything into the market when I buy or sell investments. Other than the desire to follow my predetermined asset allocation, I go into the process essentially blind. I don't think about how Greece is going to affect the orange crop in Florida, and how this in ...
by Shawn
Mon Jun 13, 2011 9:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Deleted
Replies: 17
Views: 5945

You can evaluate the differences between a Traditional 401k, Roth, and Taxable account by looking at the taxable yield. The taxable yield incorporates the effect of all taxes on the investment (initial income taxes for the Roth and Taxable account, annual taxes from dividends in a Taxable account, a...
by Shawn
Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age does it go downhill
Replies: 140
Views: 20010

Those first 9 months were pretty good, but it's been downhill ever since. I'm 51. I noticed an increase in the number of annoying aches and pains at around 45, but this was the same time I gained 40 pounds. These aches and pains could be due to: 1) the increase in weight (e.g., more stress on the jo...
by Shawn
Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did anyone actually like the 1970s?
Replies: 111
Views: 13186

It was a very turbulent time for women. I remember having to fight to get my first credit card, when they came free in the mail to my spouse. [...] Women were pretty much viewed as second class citizens earning much less than their counterparts. We've come a long way, baby! I think that is where th...
by Shawn
Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car would you consider?
Replies: 20
Views: 2879

Re: Which car would you consider?

Toyota Corolla Honda Civic Honda Fit The Fit is a newer model. It may be more difficult to find one that meets your $10K criteria. A new one is about $15K for the base model. The Corolla and Civic come only in sedans, unless you go for a significantly older model. The Fit is a 4-door hatchback with ...
by Shawn
Fri Apr 01, 2011 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills
Replies: 104
Views: 16958

1200 sf house in San Francisco Bay Area (1 person, 1 cat) Electric: $12 Water: $18 Trash: $14 Gas: $10 Electric and gas combined only $22 a month? How are you pulling that off? It's mostly "turn it off when it's not in use." There is little need for more than 1 light to be on at once, unl...
by Shawn
Fri Apr 01, 2011 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Utility Bills
Replies: 104
Views: 16958

1200 sf house in San Francisco Bay Area (1 person, 1 cat)

Electric: $12
Water: $18
Trash: $14
Gas: $10
by Shawn
Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online dating sites - worth it?
Replies: 253
Views: 46339

I've tried on-line dating (match.com), although I'm not sure if I'd do it again. I believe it is an effective way to meet a lot of people in a short period of time (even if it is only by email). However, other methods are effective too (social gatherings, recreation, church, etc). What seemed to wor...
by Shawn
Fri Mar 25, 2011 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online dating sites - worth it?
Replies: 253
Views: 46339

In many countries outside of the US, women haven't gained social or economic equality yet. As a result, they are culturally more subordinate to men. The poster was likely trying to make a jab at this, as he probably has his own misguided views of a woman's role in society. I'm not sure how a person...
by Shawn
Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grieving [for pet] Poll
Replies: 92
Views: 12958

Losing a pet can be very difficult and painful. For many, pets are bona fide members of the family. I still miss my cat who passed away almost 6 years ago. He was with me for almost 18 years and was part of my life. I don't know if there is any specific way to deal with the grief, other than time. S...
by Shawn
Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Millionaires - factors in attaining wealth
Replies: 52
Views: 9349

Re: US Millionaires - factors in attaining wealth

I think that the "hard work" % is overstated - isn't there a natural bias to attribute success to hard work vs. winning the genetic lottery, luck, etc? If you live (way) below your means and can save 20%, 25% or more, then you an become financially rich over a longer period. Paul and if u...
by Shawn
Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How big of an earthquake can california houses withstand?
Replies: 31
Views: 29342

Also, an interesting side note is each magnitude increases the amount of energy released by 32. So the 9.0 that Japan just felt was roughly 1,000 times more energy than the Northridge quake. This is true. However, it's important to note that the ground motions (shaking amplitude) for the 2011 M9.0 ...
by Shawn
Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it possible to eat well on less than $200 / month?
Replies: 80
Views: 9237

I believe the food stamp budget for someone with no financial resources is a little under $200/month. So apparently the USDA believes it is both doable and healthy. I normally spend about $150/month on food. However, in 2009, I wanted to see if I could spend less than $1000 on food for an entire yea...
by Shawn
Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Which financial institution stores most of your net worth?
Replies: 79
Views: 9354

Approximately (and not including holdings in my DBP pension) ... 40% Fidelity (Employer Retirement Accounts) 35% Vanguard 10% Mairs and Power 05% American Century (High Yield CA Municipal Bond Fund) 10% Banks (local credit union, Capital One, ING) When I retire in a year, I'll likely drop my America...
by Shawn
Sun Feb 13, 2011 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UC DCP Questions [Univ. of CA Defined Contribution Plan]
Replies: 47
Views: 25257

I roll the after-tax contributions (and their earnings) into the same Roth every year. To be honest, I'm no longer with UC, but the 401k plan at my current employer is effectively identical to the DCP 401a plan at UC. So I have one Roth that contains the former after-tax contributions to the UC 401a...
by Shawn
Sat Feb 12, 2011 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dating, and the awkward timing that is V-Day
Replies: 38
Views: 5461

I would do nothing. Leave it up to her to make a move. If she does nothing, then she has no cause to think that you are a jerk (else she would be an equal jerk). It goes both ways. If she acknowledges Valentine's Day to you in some way, respond back (phone, email, or whatever is on par with her comm...
by Shawn
Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "I need my mortgage for a tax deduction"
Replies: 44
Views: 6786

With AMT, my marginal tax rate is 42.05% (federal and state). That means the effective interest rate on my 4.125% 10-year mortgage is 2.39%. Can I get a better 10-year return with muni bonds? While not guaranteed, the answer is very likely yes. I expect to get about 4% over the next 10-years from my...
by Shawn
Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: work-around for exceeding 2010 Roth income limit?
Replies: 9
Views: 1543

If you make non-deductible contributions to a traditional IRA, you need to complete IRS Form 8606 when you file your taxes. This is one of the easier forms. It's no big deal. You will also use Form 8606 when you perform the rollover to the Roth IRA. If you plan to make a non-deductible contribution ...
by Shawn
Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UC DCP Questions [Univ. of CA Defined Contribution Plan]
Replies: 47
Views: 25257

Yes. You can roll over the after-tax contributions that you have accumulated up until this point to your Roth IRA located at a different institution. This is despite the fact that you are already maxing out your Roth IRA at $5K/yr. Since you have already paid taxes on these after-tax contributions, ...
by Shawn
Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: UC DCP Questions [Univ. of CA Defined Contribution Plan]
Replies: 47
Views: 25257

Re: UC DCP Questions

I have funds in UC's 403b, 457, and 401a plans. The differences in the plans seem rather subtle, at least for my situation, so I don't prefer one over another. I don't believe it matters too much where you park your pre-tax contributions. I'll probably roll everything into a single UC plan when I re...
by Shawn
Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Billionaires to donate half of net worth to charities
Replies: 55
Views: 5359

I don't really understand how so many bogleheads are so critical of a billionaire giving money to charity when the recent poll showed that as a whole bogleheads are less than exemplary in that category. I can only speak for myself. I'm not critical of billionaires who plan to give their money to ch...
by Shawn
Sat Jul 31, 2010 6:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kilowatts in the Summer [Electricity Usage]
Replies: 95
Views: 12269

I'm usually around 100kWh/month, with a typical monthly bill between $10-$15. My lowest month was about 60kWh. I have an all electric 1200 sf house, except for heat and hot water. Northern California (PG&E). We may have 5-10 100+ degree days during the average summer (it reached 116 a few years ...
by Shawn
Tue Jul 27, 2010 9:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Allan Roth's Skimp or Splurge - Millionaire’s Car
Replies: 72
Views: 12524

Life is too short to hurt yourself driving around in a Ford. Anyways, I thought one of the reasons to save and passively invest all this money at low expense ratios was so that you could drive a Lexus while still having millions in ETFs. Am I wrong? Not wrong. Not right. To each his own. I drive a ...
by Shawn
Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:07 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ben Stein's "wisdom" about the recession
Replies: 34
Views: 4668

From the Stein article: [...] This would include a teaching of the fact that the employee is not there for amusement, but to help the employer make money and to get a job done. It would include the idea that once you are at work, you are not at play. It is an idea whose time has come. I wonder how ...
by Shawn
Thu Jul 15, 2010 10:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tricks for Keeping Active at Work
Replies: 35
Views: 4559

I commute to/from work by bicycle and then go running pretty much everyday around noon. Previously, my schedule allowed runs of 4-15+ miles, but that changed a few years ago so now 2-4 miles is about it. In the summer, I go bicycling twice a week after work. I work at a large complex, so I'm often z...
by Shawn
Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much do you give to charity each year?
Replies: 66
Views: 8522

Biblical imperatives notwithstanding, IMO percentage of spending is a better measure of holier-than-thou-ness. Money saved/invested is money not yet spent, and its ultimate use is not yet fixed. I've thought a lot about this from a moral perspective. Depending on how the base is defined, I give any...
by Shawn
Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fantasy Tour de France?
Replies: 59
Views: 7333

I won't get the results of today's stage (Tuesday, Stage 9) until this evening, but I see that I've moved into the coveted last place spot in the mini-league over the weekend. In perfect position to scan the field and look for weakness in the rest of you. Sunday's stage was informative. Perhaps this...
by Shawn
Mon Jul 12, 2010 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Stock Market Game - Any thoughts
Replies: 35
Views: 6857

I'd be interested in the timescale of the investments. Specifically, do students have the opportunity to investigate long-term investment strategies? I don't believe it would be appropriate if there is a one-to-one mapping between the September to May school year and the students investment horizon....
by Shawn
Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Switching from LargeCap to LargeCap Growth
Replies: 13
Views: 1991

I considered doing something similar. That is, instead of having TSM in both my taxable and tax deferred accounts, I considered putting TSM Growth in taxable and TSM Value in tax deferred. For my situation (e.g., current and expected tax rates, investment horizon), this would have been prudent only ...
by Shawn
Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Evidence-Based College Thread?
Replies: 129
Views: 11456

I don't know how accurate these results are, but below is a BusinessWeek article that ranks schools by "Return on Investment (ROI)." ROI is a measure of lifetime earnings. The big name schools dominate the rankings. Three of the top four schools (MIT, Caltech, and Harvey Mudd) are science/...
by Shawn
Tue Jul 06, 2010 8:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What risk really is
Replies: 80
Views: 15265

FAILURE RATES Portfolio A Portfolio B 3% withdrawals 0% 52.6% 4% withdrawals 100% 52.6% Given this set of choices, what would you advise? Your point is well-taken. However, if the investor is "unlucky" enough to live for 35 years, instead of your 30 years, then the outcome is ... FAILURE ...
by Shawn
Sun Jul 04, 2010 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fantasy Tour de France?
Replies: 59
Views: 7333

While I didn't spend too much time on my team selection, I decided to go with the odds and center the team around Contador and Cavendish (even though I don't particularly like either of them). Leipheimer was my other All Rounder. He seemed to be a good deal at 12 credits. Also, I'd like to see him d...
by Shawn
Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting Hair Myself To Save $$ and Better Results!
Replies: 41
Views: 6052

I've been cutting my hair for the past 35 years (since about 15). I use a regular pair of scissors that are probably 20+ years old. I could probably cut 80% of my hair in the dark, just by feel. Another advantage of cutting my own hair is that I can get a haircut any time I want. 6 in the morning. N...
by Shawn
Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money, Forbes... What magazines do you subscribe to?
Replies: 62
Views: 8705

Subscribe: Consumer Reports (since 1985 or so) Consumer Reports Money Advisor (so so) Checkbook (from Consumers Union - a local version of Consumer Reports with ratings of plumbers, auto mechanics, etc) BottomLine Personal (tidbits of useless information) Purchase at Magazine Stand: Money (most mont...
by Shawn
Tue Jun 29, 2010 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventive maintenance question [car]
Replies: 24
Views: 2653

There's no knowing on a coil or ignitor, 1 second they work and the next they do not. You could be parked in the garage or a shopping lot. You could be going 30 mph on a side road or 70 mph on the interstate. When they go the engine stops like when you turn off the key. Now you have a tow and a dia...
by Shawn
Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Expense Ratio Vs. Tax Expenses
Replies: 12
Views: 1955

The expense ratios clearly suggest that the TSM fund is the better option for the 401k. However, REIT funds are less tax efficient than TSM funds. I was simply trying to find a way to identify at what point the expense ratio outweighed the tax consequences of holding a less tax-efficient fund in a ...
by Shawn
Mon Jun 28, 2010 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fund Expense Ratio Vs. Tax Expenses
Replies: 12
Views: 1955

What I do is compute an "effective yield" for different scenario's. This yield is obtained by considering all factors that affect the total return after a given number of years (e.g., 30 years, as a long-term investor). These factors include expense ratios and the various taxes (income, di...
by Shawn
Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicles you have owned...
Replies: 162
Views: 28640

1977 Chevy Chevette (purchased used in 1982 for $2K)
1980 Toyota Corolla (purchased used in 1985 for $4K)
by Shawn
Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Road to Riches
Replies: 10
Views: 2725

Re: taxes

taxes are like wind resistance and road friction Except there is some positive to taxes... Without ANY government, how rich do you think all of us would be? The same can be said for investment costs (e.g., mutual fund expense ratios). Although they're needed, higher costs don't necessarily translat...