Search found 3428 matches

by MathWizard
Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How are you finding "no cost" refis?
Replies: 4
Views: 154

Re: How are you finding "no cost" refis?

We're strongly considering going from a 30y mortgage (4y in) to a 15y, rate would go down from 4.125% to 3.125%. (We're not interested in a new 30-yr mortgage.) I see some people posting about "no-cost refis", but I can't find anything. I'd be willing to post my zip code if someone wants to find on...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?
Replies: 89
Views: 9383

Re: Do Bogleheads plan to utilize Independent Living facilities?

We are considering places where there is minimal upkeep. We've put a lot of work into our fixer upper, and later in life we just want to enjoy life, and we'll have the money to do so. My MIL moved into a 2bdrm handicapped apt. where the staff did all the yard work and would even change lightbulbs. C...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]
Replies: 2412
Views: 434368

Re: What are you up YTD? [Year To Date]

2/3 VTSAX
1/3 VBLAX

Up 10.6% according to Vanguard.
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 16, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?
Replies: 48
Views: 2330

Re: How to define "HCOL" (high cost of living) areas?

Cost of housing is probably the best measure, but in my book, if you have to make 6 figures just to be able to live there and make ends meet on a frugal budget, it's HCOL. (6 figures is almost double the median national household income.) I've looked at the coasts, and when my wife refuses to live i...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 16, 2019 5:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping with mother's finances after father's passing
Replies: 14
Views: 849

Re: Helping with mother's finances after father's passing

My condolences on your father's passing. ROTH should be non-taxable. The year your father passed, she can file MFJ, but after that she will have single status. You may wish to look at http://i-orp.com this can suggest withdrawals from the various categories with considerations for taxes and RMDs. It...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 16, 2019 1:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Refinance car as layer of emergency funding?
Replies: 33
Views: 1907

Re: Refinance car as layer of emergency funding?

From a previous post: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=285036 you have two duplexes, and the recent purchase is why your EF is low, and you have a liquidity issue, having tied up your capital. The rental properties may help you a lot in the long run, but you could lose them in th...
by MathWizard
Mon Aug 12, 2019 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?
Replies: 84
Views: 5644

Re: Beyond Meat Burger? Do you like?

My wife and I tried these last weekend for lunch, making them ourselves. We had hoped they would be something we could eat, since our sons are vegetarian/vegan resp. For me, the consistency was different, too "smooth" if that makes sense. I did not mind it, but would prefer regular hamburger. It did...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett and Bonds
Replies: 18
Views: 1901

Re: Warren Buffett and Bonds

2017 shareholder letter is what you refer to. Thanks for taking the time to respond. What I'm reading is a summary on CNBC of his 2018 letter. That's where the quote is from. He makes lots of references to what Berkshire Hathaway did in 2017. Still reading all of what you wrote. Thanks again for re...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Less aggressive options for Roth IRA
Replies: 10
Views: 545

Re: Less aggressive options for Roth IRA

First choice would be CD in a local back to strengthen the Efund.
(I did just that last year at age 60.)

The second choice would be to just add to target date fund.
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 296
Views: 21753

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

In my opinion there is close to a 0% chance there will be an actual reduction in calculated benefits. Seniors are a very large voting block and they have a very high participation rate. There almost certainly will be an increase in the Social Security SS tax rate and highly likely that there will b...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 112
Views: 14727

Re: How do you afford to travel?

We go cheap on food and hotel. We will splurge for a meal or two, but We are there for the sights, not the food or hotel. Ideally, we just sleep at the hotel, and we don't spend a long time eating, because we want to be out looking around. How does the cheap hotel work out? I find that cheap hotels...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Local public debt - financial not political
Replies: 3
Views: 520

Re: Local public debt - financial not political

Capital projects really have to be done with bond issues. Our state requires that operating budgets and capital budgets be kept separate. For our school district, bond issues must be passed with 60% majority, so they need great support. I have no problem with improving the schools, even now that I n...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 11, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 112
Views: 14727

Re: How do you afford to travel?

We go cheap on food and hotel. We will splurge for a meal or two, but We are there for the sights, not the food or hotel. Ideally, we just sleep at the hotel, and we don't spend a long time eating, because we want to be out looking around. How does the cheap hotel work out? I find that cheap hotels...
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you afford to travel?
Replies: 112
Views: 14727

Re: How do you afford to travel?

We go cheap on food and hotel. We will splurge for a meal or two, but We are there for the sights, not the food or hotel. Ideally, we just sleep at the hotel, and we don't spend a long time eating, because we want to be out looking around. We have a nicer home if we just want to sit around. We have ...
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 10, 2019 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is the best way to pass on wealth to heirs?
Replies: 30
Views: 2914

Re: What is the best way to pass on wealth to heirs?

A possible strategy if you kids are not contributing to IRAs or only half or less but are eligible for ROTHs would be to match in a ROTH that they set up in their name. This counts against their 6K annual limit and against your 15K per person limit.

This encourages them to save in a ROTH.
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No pay increase but increase in responsibility
Replies: 109
Views: 7576

Re: No pay increase but increase in responsibility

Two options 1) Make a lateral move to another company where they may value you. 2) Get recognition for your new role. After a year or 2 you may able to go to another company at a higher level since you have the experience. I was told to take over for my boss who had been making 50% more , but was gi...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do dividends still exist?
Replies: 159
Views: 7897

Re: Why do dividends still exist?

Companies pay a dividend because the board of directors declares a dividend. The shareholders are the owners of the company. They could change it at any time. Capital gains have no advantage over dividends in a retirement account. With increasing use of stock options in executive pay, a share buybac...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Real Estate Negotiation Came to a Halt
Replies: 67
Views: 5017

Re: Real Estate Negotiation Came to a Halt

Walk away, do not make another offer. Look at other houses. If you keep offering, they have no incentive to come down. Maybe when they move and the property taxes, insurance and upkeep for their unoccupied home become real, they will be more motivated. With our current house, we did not have to move...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 08, 2019 12:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only 33 years work history / Social Security:
Replies: 23
Views: 5247

Re: Only 33 years work history / Social Security:

To put it simply, after the 2nd bendpoint, it takes $21K to increase the SS benefit at FRA by $100 per year. A job at $7.25/hr 40 hrs per week provides about $15K/yr, so 2 of those years is $30K, so a bit under $150/yr increased SS benefit at FRA. If you were forced from you old job, I wouldn't tak...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only 33 years work history / Social Security:
Replies: 23
Views: 5247

Re: Only 33 years work history / Social Security:

To put it simply, after the 2nd bendpoint, it takes $21K to increase the SS benefit at FRA by $100 per year. A job at $7.25/hr 40 hrs per week provides about $15K/yr, so 2 of those years is $30K, so a bit under $150/yr increased SS benefit at FRA. If you were forced from you old job, I wouldn't take...
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 04, 2019 10:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The middle of this feels... odd
Replies: 16
Views: 3461

Re: The middle of this feels... odd

You had a child. That is an expensive decision, but one that you will cherish for the rest of your life. This also means retiring at 40 is out the window. Age 41 was about the lowest in terms of retirement funding. Just bought our permanent home right next to an elem school, so big mortgage payment....
by MathWizard
Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Emergency Fund Optimization
Replies: 8
Views: 626

Re: Emergency Fund Optimization

Two tiers,

Savings account in local credit union + CDs
covers everything up to car replacement or 4-6
months of job loss for both of us .

Roth contributions, currently 30+ months income replacement.

Beyond that, the full retirement fund.
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Finally considering paying off my mortgage
Replies: 36
Views: 2726

Re: Finally planning to pay off my mortgage

Congratulations, grabiner.

It is a nice feeling not to have the money going out every month.
The improvement in cash flow is worth a lot.
by MathWizard
Sat Aug 03, 2019 2:44 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why is the calculation of a SWR based on a portfolio's starting value instead of if times were bad?
Replies: 17
Views: 1183

Re: Why is the calculation of a SWR based on a portfolio's starting value instead of if times were bad?

Yes , I understand, and do take some action there. When the Shiller PE is above 20, I multiply the equity portion of my AA by 20 divided by the Shiller PE. So if the equity portion drops in price to that value, I am OK. Given that the 4% rule was calculated based on history where it succeeded all bu...
by MathWizard
Fri Aug 02, 2019 6:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does it bug anyone else that Vanguard only has money market for cash?
Replies: 101
Views: 8397

Re: Does it bug anyone else that Vanguard only has money market for cash?

No. I use Vanguard for things that make me money and are low cost.

I prefer the low cost. If I wanted more features and wanted to pay for them, I have
lots of other places to invest.
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VOIP - what do you use?
Replies: 55
Views: 3664

Re: VOIP - what do you use?

Vonage. I also have an ObiTalk with Google Voice, but some in-laws had trouble with it, so we went back to Vonage. The ObiTalk works fine outgoing. I think the ObiTalk would work with incoming, but my wife wanted Vonage back. We got a good price to come back, and will switch to our ISP if it jumps b...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 01, 2019 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Which funds should I sell for emergency
Replies: 6
Views: 613

Re: Which funds should I sell for emergency

You need $12K from $100K total. The easy answer is to take 12% from each. This keeps the AA that you had the same among these accounts. I assume you had those ratios for a reason. If reducing the smaller accounts increases their expense ratio (Admiral to Investor) then pull it all from VTSAX. I hope...
by MathWizard
Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Phone for elderly hard of hearing?
Replies: 13
Views: 438

Re: Phone for elderly hard of hearing?

Check with elder services. The were able to supply a large button phone with high volume. Also, make sure the hearing aids have a telecoil and that the phone works with it. This will automatically transmit directly to the hearing aid. Some churches are adding telecoil loops, (more common in Europe t...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 31, 2019 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 296
Views: 21753

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

I have seen a lot of discussion about delaying taking Social Security until age 70. If you assume that you are going to live to be 85 or greater, the typical thing I have seen is to add up all your payments from 62 to 85 and compare that to all your payments from 70 to 85. Generally, taking it at 7...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 31, 2019 12:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spousal benefits and SSA
Replies: 6
Views: 656

Re: Spousal benefits and SSA

It may be WEP. See:

Code: Select all

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/wep.html
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Stop myself from making bad trades
Replies: 35
Views: 2464

Re: Stop myself from making bad trades

You need to convince yourself that you can't win this way. I imagine that it is something like thinking that I could trot onto the field in the middle of an NFL game and win the game, or jump into the ring with a heavyweight boxer and go the distance. In either scenario I would be an amateur with li...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What's your Uber passenger rating?
Replies: 118
Views: 6017

Re: What's your Uber passenger rating?

Spewin wrote:
Tue Jul 30, 2019 6:17 am
This thread makes me kind of sick. It reminds me very much of this (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosedive_(Black_Mirror)) episode of Black Mirror.
This is the only Black Mirror episode that I quit watching. Many others were scarier, but
this one was too close to reality for my comfort.
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 30, 2019 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retire with Less Than $1 million?
Replies: 85
Views: 16252

Re: Retire with Less Than $1 million?

Your age matters, also if you are married or not. It sounds like you may be single. If not, we'd need to know what your spouse has for retirement. (It's at least 1/2 your SS benefit amount at FRA.) Also, I assume the money is in tax deferred. $100K in a ROTH is more valuable than $100K in a 401k. A ...
by MathWizard
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Storing documents--- trust, will, etc.
Replies: 22
Views: 1911

Re: Storing documents--- trust, will, etc.

I keep everything in a safety deposit box. Better protected: Fire, then tornado is likely the biggest danger to the docs. My home does not have sprinklers like the bank does, so fire is less of an issue there. Theft is the next most likely danger. Thieves would just grab the whole firebox and ditch ...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 29, 2019 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you move past old financial mistakes?
Replies: 57
Views: 4697

Re: How do you move past old financial mistakes?

It's easy for me.

As long as it is not an ongoing mistake, I just say:
"Boy, am I smarter now than I was."

Much better than being stupider than in the past.
by MathWizard
Sat Jul 27, 2019 11:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I include taxes when calculating a retirement number?
Replies: 63
Views: 5139

Re: Do I include taxes when calculating a retirement number?

You should definitely include taxes and health insurance. There is no good rule of thumb,because taxes are progressive. I might say highly progressive on the low end. You go from 0% up to 24K of taxable income,. With low income outside of SS, you won't have that taxed, then add in a few thousand and...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thank you notes,,, out of favor these days?
Replies: 107
Views: 5760

Re: Thank you notes,,, out of favor these days?

I appreciate a thank you note, but no longer expect one for a graduation or wedding gift. For myself, I don't go overboard on the gift, and it does not take much effort for me to write a check, so I don't expect a lot of effort in return. I send handwritten thank you notes on linen paper to those wh...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 145
Views: 13211

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

I have bought an 800 W power inverter that will hook to a car battery to power my sump pump or furnace in case of dire emergency, and we've never had an outage of longer than 8 hours in the last 35 years. Have you tested that? My experience with multiple furnaces is that they will not light without...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?
Replies: 129
Views: 7991

Re: Do you buy cellphone outright or pay over 2 years?

Buy and run them till they die, like everything else. Just got a new pixel 3a XL to replace a Nexus5x The Nexus 5x was $250 for 32 GB model. My new phone was 480. The iPhone 5s' that we still use were$200 each. My service is $20/month +$10/GB I use. The iPhones are tracphones that keep building up m...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why Personal Finance is not taught in Schools in the US
Replies: 59
Views: 2913

Re: Why Personal Finance is not taught in Schools in the US

What really needs to be learned is deferred gratification. That typically is taught and demonstrated at home. I saw how being poor sucked when I was a kid, and vowed to make sure that my family would not be poor. I talked about finances with my kids opportunistically. I pointed out that there are ad...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 15, 2019 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Poor financial advisor performance
Replies: 71
Views: 4245

Re: Poor financial advisor performance

1) It looks like the portfolio is too complicated. 2) It sounds like you want to tinker too much. 3) Get rid of a high fee advisor. All of the 3 above are killing your performance. You can't change the past, so don't try to make up ground by again trying to beat everyone else's performance. My advic...
by MathWizard
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Five Nobel Laureates Recommend The Market Portfolio
Replies: 58
Views: 6658

Re: Five Nobel Laureates Recommend The Market Portfolio

Honest question: Do any of those people actually hold a market portfolio? I know for sure at least some do not (i.e. Fama). I'm not sure if any of them do, however. stultz: Total market index funds were not available to older investors. Many older investors are "stuck" with large capital-gains in s...
by MathWizard
Sun Jul 14, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ORP and RPM recommend large mega Roth's from IRA
Replies: 44
Views: 2641

Re: ORP and RPM recommend large mega Roth's from IRA

With 5 million in tax deferred and 5 million in taxable, you certainly won't starve, even doing what i-orp suggests. You have $5 million in tax deferred, which will be taxed at ordinary income, and your RMDs at 70 1/2 will start at just under 4% by 78 will be about 5% and by 83 will be 6%, pushing y...
by MathWizard
Sat Jul 13, 2019 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: I think i can spend 30k on this vacation, but wife not sure
Replies: 77
Views: 7420

Re: I think i can spend 30k on this vacation, but wife not sure

Financially doable, but the wording is
‘I want to go’

Would your wife be going along or is this just you going? If she’s going is this something she would want?

Maybe her reluctance is based on you spending a large amount of money on something you want.
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: priority of supporting parents vs saving for college
Replies: 54
Views: 3686

Re: priority of supporting parents vs saving for college

My kids would come first, all else constant. However, saving for kid's college is different for parent's basic needs. We did a little of both, much more on our kid's side, because they are our primary responsibility. Maybe this is just me, but I have told my kids that barring some unforeseen and ext...
by MathWizard
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Survived the First Week [of retirement, what's next?]
Replies: 70
Views: 8459

Re: Survived the First Week [of retirement, what's next?]

Whatever you do, do NOT accept the same pay as a contractor as you did as an employee. You have unique skills, you can command AT LEAST double your previous rate as a contractor. Ralph I figure at least 37.5% above salary for expenses of an employee (1/2 of SS, retirement, health /dental insurance,...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 11, 2019 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2016 Car with only 11,000 miles?
Replies: 32
Views: 3058

Re: 2016 Car with only 11,000 miles?

Make sure you check CarFax in case it was in a flood, and look through the car to see if it has been repainted (in the top of the trunk under the back deck you can sometimes tell.) which can indicated that it had been in an accident (assuming you haven't been told that it has.) Look at the hood to s...
by MathWizard
Thu Jul 11, 2019 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Asset Allocation of the Ultra-Wealthy, can I copy their portfolio with index funds?
Replies: 63
Views: 5067

Re: Asset Allocation of the Ultra-Wealthy, can I copy their portfolio with index funds?

Richest investor I know suggests you invest your money in 1) S&P 500 and 2) Short term government bonds. Guess who? Both Buffet, and especially Munger say that the way to invest is to be able to analyze a business completely, like you were buying it, and to buy intending to hold long-term. Basicall...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why not post-tax investment in US for people from Home Country - India
Replies: 34
Views: 3329

Re: Why not post-tax investment?

You do have income in retirement, unless you just have cash in a mattress. A CD earning 3% on a 2 million dollar portfolio of post tax investment generates $60K in income. That $60K gets taxed. If you could have that same in a ROTH, still a post tax investment, that generates $0 income. Now deferrin...
by MathWizard
Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Friend's car caught in flood ?
Replies: 68
Views: 4473

Re: Friend's car caught in flood ?

For me, I would definitely ditch the car, but I have money now. If this is not an option for your friend, make sure the transmission, engine oil are completely drained and probably flushed, along with any other parts that do not have sealed bearings I'd also flush brake lines just in case. Electrica...