Search found 303 matches

by tooluser
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoreau Simplify
Replies: 57
Views: 5284

Re: Thoreau Simplify

4) Being vigilant about saying no. I don't like having too much on my calendar, and I resist adding anything to my calendar as much as possible. The more open my calendar the better. I can't stand meetings or scheduled calls especially. If you add enough meetings you can sometimes get 3 to 5 schedu...
by tooluser
Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car rental - full size vs premium
Replies: 12
Views: 1059

Re: Car rental - full size vs premium

I am a giant and find that there is typically a scoche more front leg room and width, and a lot more rear seat room, in Premium instead of Full size. Even at smaller body sizes, that would still be a good feature if you expect to travel with people in the back seat. In Premium, I've primarily had Ch...
by tooluser
Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Section 199A Tax Benefits Of REITs Over Direct Real Estate Investments at Kitces.com by Jeffrey Levine
Replies: 32
Views: 3464

Re: The Section 199A Tax Benefits Of REITs Over Direct Real Estate Investments at Kitces.com by Jeffrey Levine

Personal benchmark of my REITs held in taxable (VNQ, USRT): ~60% of the dividends are now qualified, based on the initial 1099 form. That's a big deal.
by tooluser
Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard
Replies: 48
Views: 4551

Re: Benefits of Fidelity vs Vanguard

And realize that no matter how much you want to simplify, sometimes things happen to ruin those plans. My employer changed from a 403b with six investment company choices to a 401k with only one investment company choice. That one company was one I had transferred from two years ago to simplify thin...
by tooluser
Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What stress test do you run on your retirement portfolio?
Replies: 39
Views: 2148

Re: What stress test do you run on your retirement portfolio?

I have a table in my retirement spreadsheet that looks sort of like this: 1 Age at Retirement A B C D 2 Total Income vs Enough 100% 110% 120% 130% 3 Total Income in Good Years vs Enough 120% 130% 140% 150% 4 Total Income in Bad Years vs Enough 85% 93% 100% 110% 5 Total Income Once SS Kicks In (62) v...
by tooluser
Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoreau Simplify
Replies: 57
Views: 5284

Re: Thoreau Simplify

I am as One with the Mandelbrot set. It hugs me at every point.
by tooluser
Mon Feb 11, 2019 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?
Replies: 68
Views: 5290

Re: What Happens If You Ignore Being Served a Lawsuit?

If calling the insurance company is a no go for them, consider that most local Bar Associations have free or low cost initial legal consultations available. I used our local service once long ago in a real estate dispute. The advice was well worth the small fee, and I never actually had to hire a la...
by tooluser
Sun Feb 10, 2019 10:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Living comfortably in retirement"
Replies: 71
Views: 8750

Re: "Living comfortably in retirement"

This to me is one of the pivotal questions of retirement. I struggle with the mathematically vs the psychologically correct answer. I have a table in my retirement spreadsheet that looks sort of like this: 1 Age at Retirement A B C D 2 Total Income vs Enough 100% 110% 120% 130% 3 Total Income in Goo...
by tooluser
Sat Feb 09, 2019 5:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging markets as a percent of international
Replies: 31
Views: 1542

Re: Emerging markets as a percent of international

Scott Burns' "classic" 10-speed portfolio: 1/10—Vanguard Inflation-Protected Securities (VIPSX) 1/10—Vanguard Total Stock Market Index (VTSMX) 1/10—Vanguard Total Intl Stock Index (VGTSX) 1/10—SPDR Lehman International Treasury Index (BWX) 1/10—Vanguard REIT Index (VGSIX) 1/10—Vanguard Energy (VGENX...
by tooluser
Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Those who do not fly coach, where do you buy your tickets?
Replies: 30
Views: 4795

Re: Those who do not fly coach, where do you buy your tickets?

I use Kayak.com and/or Google Flights to find the cheapest fares regularly available. Then I go to the website of the airline and buy the ticket there. I'm highly suspicious of middlemen in a transaction for which changes could cost big bucks or problems could result in major delays. I earmark funds...
by tooluser
Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CA homes and new SALT limits
Replies: 48
Views: 5545

Re: CA homes and new SALT limits

yes, SALT is capped at 10k now, but the AMT threshold also increased to 500k/1M (single/married). in the previous law, if you're able to pay so much in SALT (more than the new 24k standard deduction), it also likely means you're paying extra taxes via AMT; not so anymore. for the most part everyone...
by tooluser
Sun Feb 03, 2019 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bob Brinker Retirement
Replies: 21
Views: 3752

Re: Bob Brinker Retirement

I used to listen to Bob and he had many good things to say about low-cost, passive index investing. I made my first investments in mutual funds, at Vanguard, based on his advice. Eventually I subscribed to his newsletter to get a warning when the next big market decrease would happen. That warning n...
by tooluser
Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: We won the game, went to 50/50, but it just doesn't feel right
Replies: 108
Views: 11452

Re: We won the game, went to 50/50, but it just doesn't feel right

OP, let me suggest the following procedure. Step back from the decision making about your asset allocation. Identify your top 3 financial goals (for the rest of your life). Identify your top-3 financial fears. Ask your wife to INDEPENDENTLY do the same. Then compare notes and have a good in-depth d...
by tooluser
Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Connect cell phone to house line
Replies: 26
Views: 2042

Re: Connect cell phone to house line

There are phone sets that can use either the landline, or Bluetooth connection to cell phones. I didn't need that feature, but Panasonic KX-TGE270 is one such brand and model. I still have a landline, but the Bluetooth feature allowed me to wirelessly put my cellphone contact list onto the home phon...
by tooluser
Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Percentage of Your Pre-Retirement Income are You Projecting You Will Need?
Replies: 108
Views: 7049

Re: What Percentage of Your Pre-Retirement Income are You Projecting You Will Need?

Haven't retired yet. I have done both a top-down and bottom-up estimate of retirement income needs. Top-down: Enough = gross pay - investments - taxes (social security, medicare, California SDI) - long-term disability insurance - union dues - mortgage* - federal and state tax reductions** * - I expe...
by tooluser
Sat Jan 26, 2019 12:00 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Children, what will your legacy be?
Replies: 118
Views: 8731

Re: No Children, what will your legacy be?

Similarly: https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2036 The Official Center of the World, near Yuma, AZ Lol, I've driven by this several times! Now you've made me want to stop. BTW There's a lot of weird stuff in the desert. I think it happens from getting your brain fried too often! :beer The founde...
by tooluser
Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Children, what will your legacy be?
Replies: 118
Views: 8731

Re: No Children, what will your legacy be?

This guy had a good idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Scott_Memorial_Fountain Build a monument to yourself. At first it seems selfish, but in this case it's a beautiful fountain that makes a nice gathering place for everyone. Similarly: https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2036 The Official...
by tooluser
Wed Jan 23, 2019 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery shopping strategy
Replies: 146
Views: 8974

Re: Grocery shopping strategy

We buy boneless pork loin when on sale for around $1.00 to $1.29 per pound. I slice them on a cutting board at home about 3/4 inch thick and we wrap them 2 to a package and freeze them. That's enough for a meal for the wife and I. I also buy marked down meat at a local super market. If it doesn't s...
by tooluser
Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone see an inheritance not go as planned? I would like to hear stories from others of what can go wrong.
Replies: 177
Views: 15778

Re: Has anyone see an inheritance not go as planned? I would like to hear stories from others of what can go wrong.

btenny wrote:
Tue Jan 22, 2019 5:29 pm
What do you suggest as alternatives???
Not a total solution unless you are single, but you can add a clause to your will that anyone who disputes it cannot be a beneficiary.
by tooluser
Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery shopping strategy
Replies: 146
Views: 8974

Re: Grocery shopping strategy

Asian markets, e.g., H Mart, can be a way to save on produce even if you're not looking for "Asian" produce. A lot of fruit and vegetables are substantially cheaper there than at "American" grocery stores. How about meat? :| "Mexican" grocery stores, at least in L.A. Cheaper, and you can get differ...
by tooluser
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I cancel earthquake insurance?
Replies: 10
Views: 772

Re: Should I cancel earthquake insurance?

I live in Los Angeles and have previously advocated against earthquake insurance because of it's poor value (as perceived by me). However, last year I changed my mind (my willingness to take this risk declined) and I bought a policy to cover my house. This is because I am getting closer to retiremen...
by tooluser
Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery shopping strategy
Replies: 146
Views: 8974

Re: Grocery shopping strategy

FYI The fake Spam at 99 Cent stores is actually real Spam in a different can. :greedy
It's the stuff made in Denmark that sells for $1.99, not any of the other stuff.
by tooluser
Sun Jan 20, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Grocery shopping strategy
Replies: 146
Views: 8974

Re: Grocery shopping strategy

I like the simple strategy of shopping at only one place if you are time-constrained or don't like to shop. However, I like to shop for food, which can be quite entertaining to me, so I go to a wide variety of places to get what I want at a price that I like. Grocery stores, discount stores, big box...
by tooluser
Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to avoid temptation to buy hot stocks or bitcoin?
Replies: 63
Views: 4369

Re: How to avoid temptation to buy hot stocks or bitcoin?

The Bitcoin temptation has been easy for me to avoid. I've never speculated in currency, and have no plans to do so, so why would I start now? Hot stocks are another matter. There's a story and sense of drama that goes with holding a part of some company's success (or failure). Real human endeavor, ...
by tooluser
Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Preventative home & auto checks
Replies: 30
Views: 2248

Re: Preventative home & auto checks

Turn all water shutoff valves a quarter turn each way every year, to prevent them from freezing in place due to corrosion. Replace all shutoff valves and hose bibbs with quarter-turn ball valves as they fail. They are easier to operate and more reliable. Descale all faucet and shower nozzles every s...
by tooluser
Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Strategy for the Bogleheads contest
Replies: 36
Views: 1844

Re: Strategy for the Bogleheads contest

My previously super-secret method posted for all to see: +10% over the previous year's close. Unless the previous year had a very low gain, or loss, in which case add 5% (+15%) Modify the resulting number to look nice. This year 3033.33 had a nice ring to it. "From the glass-lined tanks at Old Latro...
by tooluser
Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Pension Handcuffs?
Replies: 51
Views: 4381

Re: Pension Handcuffs?

My experience with a pension freeze that came out of nowhere: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=229233 The company did a lot of hand waving when it came to justifying the freeze. Only vague reasons given. I suspect the people in control just wanted the company to norm in with others. ...
by tooluser
Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:35 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Returns Extremely Disappointed
Replies: 44
Views: 5078

Re: Vanguard Returns Extremely Disappointed

When I started with VG when I was young, I had 100% invested in Wellington. It sucks that Wellington by far outperformed what I did. Wellington's performance has equalled Total stock with much less volatility. I'm surprised that Wellington has done so well so consistently. Presumably you left Welli...
by tooluser
Tue Jan 01, 2019 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 3266
Views: 628668

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

Currently not behind the paywall, but search for the title on Facebook.com if it is: Rewards Credit Cards Gained a Fanatic Following—Now Banks Are Pulling Back https://www.wsj.com/articles/rewards-credit-cards-gained-a-fanatic-followingnow-banks-are-pulling-back-11546365926 "Major perks like airfare...
by tooluser
Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Happy New Year Do you have plans?
Replies: 37
Views: 1812

Re: Happy New Year Do you have plans?

Enjoying some fine tunes now, and some fine drama later, courtesy of a paid subscription with a major supplier of internet entertainment.

The wild ride will continue this coming year - hang on or let go as the mood takes you!
by tooluser
Wed Dec 12, 2018 9:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Being locked out of my account and "research team" will contact me in 72 hours
Replies: 33
Views: 4057

Re: Being locked out of my account and "research team" will contact me in 72 hours

72 "business" hours? What's that......8 hour days times 9 business days? So they'll call you in a couple weeks? That's what I thought too! But I think it means 3 days, not counting weekends and holidays. I once locked myself out for 72 hours when I was trying to use a new password manager that didn...
by tooluser
Sun Dec 09, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What am I not getting about the value of TIPS funds?
Replies: 23
Views: 2313

Re: What am I not getting about the value of TIPS funds?

As a data point: The State Street Global Advisors Target Retirement funds start adding some TIPS about 12 years out from the target date, maxing out at 10% of holdings a couple of years before the target date. Then to 0% after the target date. So SSGA thinks they make sense to provide some protectio...
by tooluser
Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist
Replies: 47
Views: 3699

Re: Root Canal - dentist or endodontist

Endodontist. I've only had one root canal long ago, but my dentist (who is retired now but was very good for regular stuff) gave it the first try and missed a hidden root not visible in the x-ray, which flared up a week or so after the original root canal. So I was referred to the endo. He took x-ra...
by tooluser
Wed Dec 05, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommend dish drainer (rack)
Replies: 41
Views: 2308

Re: Recommend dish drainer (rack)

I like the plastic-coated wire ones because they have wider gaps that tend to be more versatile. No nooks and crannies to collect dirt or grow things when wet. They are light weight. They come in a small and large size. They are cheap. If you get a black one it will last many years and always look g...
by tooluser
Tue Dec 04, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone else not enjoy going out?
Replies: 68
Views: 12210

Re: Anyone else not enjoy going out?

I believe the correct term for what most people are talking about is "asocial", not "anti-social". Without, not against. Loud bars are horrible, music or sports. There always seems to be one guy at the sports bar for whom every play or at bat or goal is just absolutely the most important and amazing...
by tooluser
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Proper way to retire
Replies: 57
Views: 6544

Re: Proper way to retire

My company doesn't pay anything for unused vacation when you retire, so pretty much everyone takes the rest of their vacation and comes back for only the last day (always the first of a month). Since most people earn 2-4 hours per week of vacation while they are on vacation, that can add up to a few...
by tooluser
Tue Nov 20, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Reducing number of funds by supplementing LifeStrategy
Replies: 16
Views: 2228

Re: Reducing number of funds by supplementing LifeStrategy

What is the goal here? It's not clear from the initial post.
by tooluser
Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good oil for cooking and salad?
Replies: 38
Views: 2503

Re: Good oil for cooking and salad?

If you like pistachio nuts, try to find some pistachio oil for salad dressings - it tastes like the pistachios, fantastic! EVOO is runner-up for salads. EVOO, coconut, sunflower, and peanut oil all have a place for cooking, with other olive oils (second press and light) a close runner-up. I find tha...
by tooluser
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is Too Long to Return a Hair Dryer to Costco?
Replies: 73
Views: 5041

Re: When is Too Long to Return a Hair Dryer to Costco?

I have a Conair Quiet Tone 1500 hair dryer (with removable high-flo tip) that I bought 30 years ago. It's so old and forgotten that I am unable to locate a picture of it on the internet! It gets used about every 5 years for household projects that require drying or heating. It was also used by a hou...
by tooluser
Sun Nov 18, 2018 7:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When is Too Long to Return a Hair Dryer to Costco?
Replies: 73
Views: 5041

Re: When is Too Long to Return a Hair Dryer to Costco?

Of course I am still amazed that this topic has been allowed here given that there is nothing actionable for OP and is just indulging in pure gossip behind back of the neighbor who apparently is not here to defend herself. The action is to gain knowledge on what is and is not appropriate to do in t...
by tooluser
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cvt transmissions
Replies: 67
Views: 9255

Re: cvt transmissions

Has anybody noticed that they get less engine breaking with a CVT when they take their foot off the accelerator pedal? No. In fact that's a good point -- mine felt most times like it intuitively knew how to go downhill at a proper rate. I should add that I had variable select, so I could select "ge...
by tooluser
Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cvt transmissions
Replies: 67
Views: 9255

Re: cvt transmissions

I had a 2008 Altima with a CVT. Loved it and never had a problem, though apparently on a fleet-wide basis its reliability was problematical and it had a warranty extension as a result. Occasionally it would accelerate a little when one took their foot off the accelerator, which resulted in about a q...
by tooluser
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 2401
Views: 1504355

Re: The Three-Fund Portfolio

Create the three-fund portfolio from the investment options offered by my employer - should be simple enough? Maybe not. My employer recently made major changes in the retirement plans. I post this hoping someone in a similar position may learn something from it. In our new plan, there is no total U...
by tooluser
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: TurboTax: online vs download
Replies: 10
Views: 1704

Re: TurboTax: online vs download

I've been using TT on CD for years now. I have never seriously contemplated going to the online version because I am always disappointed with online versions of anything that is available offline. Google Docs? No thank you. Same goes for full internet version of anything compared to a phone app. I w...
by tooluser
Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Too many choices for my next TRUCK
Replies: 99
Views: 7618

Re: Too many choices for my next TRUCK

You may wish to read these internet articles: http://blog.dilbert.com/2016/07/13/how-not-to-buy-a-chevy-truck/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confusopoly They reflect my own experience as well, and I intend no slight towards Chevrolet or any other brand. I suggest having a spreadsheet that compares y...
by tooluser
Tue Nov 06, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla
Replies: 72
Views: 7666

Re: Never thought of living in Bay Area but just got a call from Tesla

Head, heart, gut. You are a lucky person if you can get all three to agree. Every person's weighting among the three is different. I've backed out of job offers for each of the three. The gut one was very interesting. Does it make sense financially and for your desired lifestyle? Will you be spiritu...
by tooluser
Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee grinder
Replies: 56
Views: 4145

Re: Coffee grinder

I only make coffee from whole beans if I am staying home in the morning. No time if I am going into work or somewhere else. The problem with a burr grinder is that they are difficult to clean thoroughly, and the bean residue goes "off" after just a couple of days of non-use, imparting a bad flavor t...
by tooluser
Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?
Replies: 188
Views: 17179

Re: Where would you go for financial guidance if you win the Megamillions?

Shackleton wrote:
Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:27 am
I would hire Klangfool and run every purchase or investment past him just to keep me cognizant of what could happen if the excrement hits the airflow device.
Now that's some Ernest advice!
by tooluser
Tue Oct 16, 2018 8:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you consider 'enough'?
Replies: 96
Views: 11443

Re: What do you consider 'enough'?

My rules of thumb: While working: Divide salary as 1/3 to savings & investments, 1/3 to taxes, 1/3 to live on. More income is always better, financially speaking, so there is no overall Enough while you are working. The 1/3's are approximate. You can save more proportionally in a low tax area or whe...