Search found 4608 matches

by dratkinson
Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Liquidity vs VWLUX/VWALX
Replies: 2
Views: 263

Re: Liquidity vs VWLUX/VWALX

That's what I did: put some of my cash equivalents into munis. Disclosure. I use to have CDs + savings bonds in taxable, and safe bonds in my Roth. But I eventually came around to owning only equities in my Roth (to shoot for the moon), so all of my bonds (munis) are in taxable (got rid of CDs and s...
by dratkinson
Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Friend Being Offered Variable & Indexed Universal Life for Tax-free Retirement Income
Replies: 46
Views: 2451

Re: Friend Being Offered Variable & Indexed Universal Life for Tax-free Retirement Income

Skipped over policy analysis stuff. Beyond my understanding anyway. Suggest your friend pay attention to the sections on costs (Can they be raised at any time? Can new costs be added at any time?) and surrender fees (believe 1st year surrender fee is salesman's commission). If these sections promise...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I repurchase EE bonds with proceeds from mature EE bonds
Replies: 1
Views: 241

Re: Should I repurchase EE bonds with proceeds from mature EE bonds

Agree you should have more bonds. Probably 25% minimum, just as a precaution so you don't worry too much during the next market correction. My personal preference is to not buy more savings bonds. But that's just me. Idea 1A. Use the proceeds for your living expenses, while you use your salary to ma...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 13, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excel formula for value of EE bond?
Replies: 7
Views: 672

Re: Excel formula for value of EE bond?

I've gone to https://www.treasurydirect.gov/BC/SBCPrice to get the current value of a few, but the idea that I have to save that .html page and reload it to update the valuation seems ... inelegant. Is there a formula I can use in Excel (or, more accurately, Libreoffice Calc) so that I can get the ...
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Can someone explain to me "currency risk" in case of EU investor? Does it apply to VWRA?
Replies: 29
Views: 1254

Re: Can someone explain to me "currency risk" in case of EU investor? Does it apply to VWRA?

I have a real world illustration of the effect of currency risk due to valuethinker's described currency of denomination or reporting . For many years I had a Chinese penpal. At one point she had a sudden need that could be solved by money so I rounded up and sent (Western Union) her a little more t...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a reliable car service center?
Replies: 45
Views: 2278

Re: How to find a reliable car service center?

Some comments from above. "Don't lie to me", works sometimes. In the mid-80s, had a leaking rear heater core on '80 Dodge B250 Sportsman van. (Beautiful van, comfortable on road trips, but I eventually learned it was built during Chrysler/Dodge "dark days" and couldn't stay out of the shops.) Took i...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 08, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find a reliable car service center?
Replies: 45
Views: 2278

Re: How to find a reliable car service center?

Interesting topic. Bad shops. Back in 1999, when I listened to Car Talk every Saturday, I tried to post a review of an independent shop to which I'd been referred. Friendly manager, terrible work*. Up selling, which might have been okay, except they messed up everything they touched and induced more...
by dratkinson
Tue Aug 06, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gas water heater options
Replies: 16
Views: 1028

Re: Gas water heater options

5) remove faulty tank and plumb its hot outlet supply to that of first tank. i.e. only one tank. 5a) Preemptively replace 15yr-old 1st-floor WH with similar (Option: Rheem Professional*, NG, standing pilot light, atmospheric vent, single magnesium anode in second port (easy to replace), 6yr guarant...
by dratkinson
Mon Aug 05, 2019 6:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ink Pens
Replies: 77
Views: 4575

Re: Ink Pens

.... One nice thing about buying a reusable fountain pen, is that you have the option to use so many different colors of ink, if that matters. These disposables only really have blue or black ink, which is (IMHO) a little boring. ... https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61v1Ys71ctL._SX3...
by dratkinson
Sun Aug 04, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Point of Grammar/Proper Usage re Name of Organization
Replies: 12
Views: 863

Re: Point of Grammar/Proper Usage re Name of Organization

I believe this is correct, the Cape May Property Owners Association is the Cape May property owners' association.



Disclosure. I did flunk an English Composition course in a prior life.
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ink Pens
Replies: 77
Views: 4575

Re: Ink Pens

The pen I've used since the 1980s is a Uniball Micro (0.5 mm, disposable). But have recently tried (all are refillable): Most likely to replace my Uniball Micro. --Pilot G-2 0.5 --Pilot G-2 0.7 --Pilot Precise V5 RT (also made as a disposable) Least likely to replace my Uniball Micro --Uniball Signo...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 03, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a good time to invest?
Replies: 18
Views: 1944

Re: Is this a good time to invest?

Thank you. I am on a fixed income so I do not have a lot of money coming in. The hope is too invest in something conservative but a little better return than my high yield savings at 2%. VOO and VTI seem great, any other recommendations? Thank you! Details. There may be a better answer, but it will...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is a Treasury money market always better in a state with income taxes regardless of your income than the Prime MM?
Replies: 9
Views: 1123

Re: Is a Treasury money market always better in a state with income taxes regardless of your income than the Prime MM?

The state tax benefit is relatively low. The federal tax benefit is relatively high. So the tax benefit of a treasury mmkt fund may be relatively low, compared to the federal tax benefit of a tax-exempt mmkt fund. And if you can find a tax-exempt single-state mmkt fund, you may enjoy fed+state+city+...
by dratkinson
Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax question on MF exchange
Replies: 7
Views: 379

Re: Tax question on MF exchange

Patient: Doc, it hurts when I do this. Doc: Don't do that. Details. The answers to all questions depend upon the details. In a taxable account, in the 22% fed tax bracket, you'll probably owe 15% on LTCG (long-term capital gain). So $600 (=(22K-18K)x15%). Plus any state/city/local taxes on LTCGs. Yo...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If I plan to move out of state in < 2 years, should I stop buying munis?
Replies: 2
Views: 281

Re: If I plan to move out of state in < 2 years, should I stop buying munis?

CA munis are still exempt from fed taxation... no matter which state you move to. Muni fund prices are fairly stable. (Believe all of mine are within <$1 of where they were when I originally purchased them.) --(1) So the CGs should be small if you sell your CA munis. --(2) The LTCG tax rate will hel...
by dratkinson
Thu Aug 01, 2019 1:07 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal bonds
Replies: 20
Views: 1484

Re: Municipal bonds

It's good to read more than one book on the same topic. Why? Where recommended authors agree, I consider that to be the central road to Dublin (doublin'). Where they disagree, I consider that to be an alternate route and more risky. We must be able to tolerate more risk to go an alternate route. Agr...
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 31, 2019 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal bonds
Replies: 20
Views: 1484

Re: Municipal bonds

Thank you all very much for the responses, I really appreciate it. Obviously, I should have done my homework before doing any investing. I feel completely lost and frustrated. I am worried I will lose all of my money. I can't take it out now, because I will take a beating on his commission/fees. Li...
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 31, 2019 2:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 894
Views: 94526

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

fru-gal wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:07 am
dratkinson wrote:
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:26 am
I might be nice to be again part of the food chain.
I have thought it would be nice to die in a forest, and provide food for wild animals. As long as no one goes after the animals for doing that.
Or a mountain top.

Tibetan sky burial: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sky_burial
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What frugal thing did you do today?
Replies: 894
Views: 94526

Re: What frugal thing did you do today?

I have signed up for my body to go to the local medical school. Hopefully not this one ... Man who donated his mother's body to an Arizona center for Alzheimer's research discovers it was sold on to the US Military for $6,000, strapped to a chair and blown up in 'blast test' (Daily Mail) Believe ou...
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 31, 2019 4:14 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Free Bonds in Taxable
Replies: 21
Views: 2227

Re: Tax Free Bonds in Taxable

Disclosure. I own VWITX/VWIUX (IT national, daily accrual), VWLTX/VWLUX (LT national, daily accrual), and a single-state muni (IT, monthly accrual, small fund family). The characteristics of what you own, and the fund family requirements determine your reward/risk and how you handle each. Example. ...
by dratkinson
Mon Jul 29, 2019 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Free Bonds in Taxable
Replies: 21
Views: 2227

Re: Tax Free Bonds in Taxable

The short answer. VWITX/VWIUX (IT national) is the recommended Vanguard fund. The long answer. Recommend reading the Wiki topics on muni funds, and Swedroe's book The Only Guide to a Winning Bond Strategy You'll Ever Need , before you purchase. So you will know what you are getting into. Another opt...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Reaction to market correction
Replies: 19
Views: 2081

Re: Reaction to market correction

If you are worrying that you may be light in bonds, then now is the best time to change direction. You can do it with new money. Tax-advantaged accounts? You could use an age-appropriate TDR fund in your tax-advantaged retirement accounts. Let the fund manager worry about the age-appropriate AA. Tax...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Would you roll Old 401K to tIRA = no more Backdoor Roth
Replies: 7
Views: 879

Re: Would you roll Old 401K to tIRA = no more Backdoor Roth

May not fully understand your question. Don't know the rules for HCEs (highly compensated employees). 1. If you want to preserve your ability to easily use a backdoor Roth, and get rid of your old 401k, can roll your old 401k into your current 401k. --Allowed rollovers (IRS chart): https://www.irs.g...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 23, 2019 7:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A little discouraged with earnings, is it really this slow?
Replies: 66
Views: 9433

Re: A little discouraged with earnings, is it really this slow?

BH A little discouraged with earnings, is it really this slow? Gathering information by rereading your posts. --You're ~27, single (recently out of a relationship), --living in Texas (no state income tax), --current income $61K (22% fed tax bracket, after standard deduction), --expected raise to $85...
by dratkinson
Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bonds: all munis in taxable account?
Replies: 18
Views: 1590

Re: Bonds: all munis in taxable account?

All my bonds are munis in taxable: IT national, LT national, IT single-state. My tax-advantaged accounts were long ago converted to Roth to maximize tax-free growth (to shoot for the moon). The dark side---reaching for more reward/risk. If you want to diversify, can try a little VWLTX/VWLUX (LT nati...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 21, 2019 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Locked out of a brand new Treasury Direct account?
Replies: 16
Views: 1646

Re: Locked out of a brand new Treasury Direct account?

Is this a bad thing? I invested in savings bonds while in the 15-25% fed tax bracket, 5% state tax bracket. But after several years (0% fixed rate) got the urge to reach for more risk/return, while at the same time simplifying my life. And wondered if the tax code could help me do both. My thinking ...
by dratkinson
Sun Jul 21, 2019 5:34 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: A little discouraged with earnings, is it really this slow?
Replies: 66
Views: 9433

Re: A little discouraged with earnings, is it really this slow?

... 2. Numbers don't lie. Compute your IRR, and project your savings and growth into the future to get a feel for compounding. ... +1. Use Excel's XIRR function to compute your IRR (internal rate of return). In the beginning your savings rate will contribute more to your investment growth than divi...
by dratkinson
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: MUNI bond fund or Individual munis
Replies: 9
Views: 623

Re: MUNI bond fund or Individual munis

Recall in Swedroe's book, The Only Guide to a Winning Bond Strategy You'll Ever Need , there is a list of pros and cons for owning individual bonds and funds. I decided I didn't want to pick individual bonds for the same reasons I didn't want to pick individual stocks. Never needing to do anything e...
by dratkinson
Thu Jul 18, 2019 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Just sat through a wealth-management sales pitch.
Replies: 96
Views: 10098

Re: Just sat through a wealth-management sales pitch.

...family friend whose daughter... If you like them, send these books to the friend to give to the daughter. -- The Only Investment Guide You’ll Every Need , Andrew Tobias. Cover personal finance topics. -- The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing . A structured overview of wise retirement investing. -- ...
by dratkinson
Thu Jul 18, 2019 4:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Help me understand R vs R-squared
Replies: 15
Views: 1559

Re: Help me understand R vs R-squared

Not knowledgeable and only remember one thing from prior topics: R is squared to remove the negative sign.

Assumed squaring (R^2) worked better in functions than absolute value (|R|). But I could be wrong.
by dratkinson
Mon Jul 15, 2019 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone buy the Nissan Rogue over the Honda CRV???
Replies: 86
Views: 5411

Re: Anyone buy the Nissan Rogue over the Honda CRV???

Sidebar. I have a 2014 Honda CR-V. Not a turbo. Only complaint is a problem with the heater core that can supposedly be fixed with a flush, but the dealer tried to rip me off on the price, so I didn't have it done and will need to find a non-dealer mechanic to do it before winter. ... :idea: Or use ...
by dratkinson
Thu Jul 11, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do most advisors produce client returns?
Replies: 57
Views: 4469

Re: How do most advisors produce client returns?

Question. "How do most advisors produce client returns?" Answer. --By not completely siphoning away all of the market's return as loads, fees, and taxes. --And some clients wrongly believe that a (partial) return of their principle is "making money". But this is easily disproven by a declining accou...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 09, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Vanguard hits back at Fidelity's loss-leader strategy by courting higher-margin businesses, like China and private equi
Replies: 19
Views: 1956

Re: "Vanguard hits back at Fidelity's loss-leader strategy by courting higher-margin businesses, like China and private

I don't believe it can be a true loss-leader strategy if the ZERO funds are closed to new investors. Search: http://www.google.com/search?q=Fidelity+closed+Zero+funds+site%3Abogleheads.org%2Fforum So while I wondered about Vanguard's response when the ZERO funds were announced, it seems the situatio...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Financial planning now that retired
Replies: 49
Views: 9898

Re: Financial planning now that retired

I'll leave you in your current capable hands in dealing with your present situation. I'll only add some recommended books for dealing with the larger retirement picture. Get them from your local library. Can read them much later, after you resolve your present situation. --Retirement planning. The B...
by dratkinson
Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bike for 79 year old man
Replies: 26
Views: 2151

Re: bike for 79 year old man

Sounds like it's time to think about buying a "comfort", "flat-foot", "crank forward" or "semi-recumbent" bike. Why? They are easy to mount/dismount/stop because your feet remain flat on the ground when not riding. A step-through frame might also help. Can add a drum brake front hub for easy mainten...
by dratkinson
Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone pay to install transfer switch recently? Does quote seem reasonable?
Replies: 47
Views: 2923

Re: Anyone pay to install transfer switch recently? Does quote seem reasonable?

BH Anyone pay to install a transfer switch recently The interlock switch does sound like a viable option if my panel can accept it. (I'm reading that not all panels can accept one - another question to ask the electrician - sigh.) The model of your panel should be printed on the cover somewhere, lik...
by dratkinson
Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone pay to install transfer switch recently? Does quote seem reasonable?
Replies: 47
Views: 2923

Re: Anyone pay to install transfer switch recently? Does quote seem reasonable?

How about doing 90% of the work yourself and then hire an electrician to make the final connection? I know many on here have the confidence and skills to DIY, but other than very simple things like switching an outlet or maybe installing a ceiling fan, my DH and I prefer to stick with professionals...
by dratkinson
Tue Jul 02, 2019 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Professional in NYC - trying to figure out investment strategy
Replies: 27
Views: 4810

Re: Professional in NYC - trying to figure out investment strategy

... If I have $10,100 in a Vanguard taxable, what percentage of a muni bonds should I keep there? I currently have 15% of portfolio invested in a bond index fund in my 401K. No other bond funds in my portfolio. Disclosure. My preference is to have all of my bonds in taxable because I own only equit...
by dratkinson
Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency fund at Vanguard
Replies: 15
Views: 2282

Re: Emergency fund at Vanguard

I would keep an EF in a separate checking account (with Debit card)... Scenario.. You need 8K within 2 hrs.. how quick can you get that from Vanguard? Can attach checkwriting privilege to Vanguard mmkt funds. I've only every used privilege to give (graduation, wedding) gifts. It provides an opportu...
by dratkinson
Mon Jul 01, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency fund at Vanguard
Replies: 15
Views: 2282

Re: Emergency fund at Vanguard

I use VMSXX (Vanguard's tax-exempt (TE) municipal mmkt fund) as an EF tier. Why? The muni federal tax benefit is worth more than the treasury state tax benefit. Compute muni taxable-equivalent yield (TEY) as: muni SEC yield / (1 - fed tax bracket). Compare muni TEY to taxable bond SEC yield, or bank...
by dratkinson
Sun Jun 30, 2019 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS Quarterly Payments From Vanguard Money Market?
Replies: 11
Views: 1072

Re: IRS Quarterly Payments From Vanguard Money Market?

Does the IRS allow quarterly tax payments to be made via EFT transfers from a Vanguard Money Market account? In the past I have used bank accounts for the transfers. Thanks! I believe this is correct. Clarifications welcomed. Creditors can pull money from a pool of cash. Bank/CU accounts are a pool...
by dratkinson
Thu Jun 27, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hot water heater on pilot light
Replies: 21
Views: 1766

Re: Hot water heater on pilot light

^^^ Recall reading that spiders can build a web/nest in unheated water heaters. So best to leave on "vacation" setting as the gas used is supposed to be cheaper than a plumbing visit to clean out spiders. Search: http://www.google.com/search?q=spiders+in+water+heater OP's high water temperature. I'd...
by dratkinson
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: High Yield Junk Bonds
Replies: 55
Views: 7583

Re: High Yield Junk Bonds

HY Muni fund. I took a second look this year after finishing my taxes. I used Excel1040.com to wag how my after-tax income might change if I used 100% Vanguard's HY muni fund (20% AMT exposure). Wagged total annual bond dividends = total bond principle x SEC yield. Long story short. My after-tax in...
by dratkinson
Tue Jun 25, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing undergrowth and bush
Replies: 37
Views: 2438

Re: Clearing undergrowth and bush

Thanks for all the suggestions. To clarify, the area to be cleared isn't that much 0.5 acre at most, and possibly much less -- I might just end up clearing brush that is intruding on lawn, and cutting a few trails through the brush in a wooded area. ... (too many fallen branches). ... Fire? No, rea...
by dratkinson
Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Professional in NYC - trying to figure out investment strategy
Replies: 27
Views: 4810

Re: Professional in NYC - trying to figure out investment strategy

BH Professional in NYC - trying to figure out investment strategy Late to the party. Data points. --Traditional retirement accounts (401k, IRA,...). Contributions are tax deductible*, but all withdrawals taxed as ordinary income. This mean QDI (qualified dividend income) + LTCG (long-term capital ga...
by dratkinson
Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I'm 68 - How Long Will it Take Me to Get Medicare?
Replies: 11
Views: 2997

Re: I'm 68 - How Long Will it Take Me to Get Medicare?

Make an appointment with your closest social security office to submit your paperwork and apply for Medicare. You can probably arrange to start at a future date certain. My local office was surprisingly helpful, courteous, and efficient. But make an appointment, because otherwise it seems like a zo...
by dratkinson
Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Clearing undergrowth and bush
Replies: 37
Views: 2438

Re: Clearing undergrowth and bush

If there is only a little overgrowth then hand tools should work okay. But assuming there is a lot of overgrowth, then that sounds like a nasty job and I would not want to make a career out of it; prefer it be done as quickly as possible. --I'd rent a walk behind brush mower (ensure rental store's m...
by dratkinson
Mon Jun 24, 2019 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Daughter: Vanguard, Fidelity, or Something Else
Replies: 20
Views: 1642

Re: Helping Daughter: Vanguard, Fidelity, or Something Else

... We are trying to get her financial independent (mostly) with the next step being her own credit card. We already had the talk about credit card interest rates, and not purchasing what you cannot pay off by the end of the month. But thanks for the advice. Financial independence. Suggested books....
by dratkinson
Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Daughter: Vanguard, Fidelity, or Something Else
Replies: 20
Views: 1642

Re: Helping Daughter: Vanguard, Fidelity, or Something Else

+1 for CUs that are part of the CU COOP shared-branch network. She'll be able to access her existing CU accounts from any other CU that is also part of the COOP shared-branch network.