Search found 263 matches

by cbeck
Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone with any experience with Warby Parker eyeglasses?
Replies: 37
Views: 3393

Re: Anyone with any experience with Warby Parker eyeglasses?

I have been quite happy with Zenni. Cheap and serviceable. Their three options for prrogressive lenses are a boon. At those prices it is not reasonable to expect a warantee, but they are so cheap that a warantee is not very important.
by cbeck
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Whether to change phone number for elderly parents
Replies: 34
Views: 3025

Re: Whether to change phone number for elderly parents

Get them an Amazon Echo. They can make voice actuated calls out either from a configured list or by calling out the digits. Also you will be able to do a "drop in" call to check on them without their having to do anything to accept the call. Add in the "Ask My Buddy" service and they can initiate em...
by cbeck
Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard/Yodlee for Aggregation
Replies: 52
Views: 2634

Re: Vanguard/Yodlee for Aggregation

1. How confident are you (or are you not) about security issues involved with sharing passwords from multiple accounts with Yodlee, or for that matter any aggregation service/product? There is no way that anyone here can evaluate the security of yodlee unless he can go in with a team of IT security...
by cbeck
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard/Yodlee for Aggregation
Replies: 52
Views: 2634

Re: Vanguard/Yodlee for Aggregation

1. How confident are you (or are you not) about security issues involved with sharing passwords from multiple accounts with Yodlee, or for that matter any aggregation service/product? There is no way that anyone here can evaluate the security of yodlee unless he can go in with a team of IT security...
by cbeck
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage
Replies: 12
Views: 971

Re: Backup Image Encryption and Cloud Storage

I use an alternate strategy to achieve similar results. My computer runs fedora linux. On top of that I run vmware workstation. Windows runs as a vm, which offers numerous advantages. For instance, whenever I do anything the least bit risky on Windows, I take a vmware snapshot first, so I can revert...
by cbeck
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard/Yodlee for Aggregation
Replies: 52
Views: 2634

Re: Vanguard/Yodlee for Aggregation

1. How confident are you (or are you not) about security issues involved with sharing passwords from multiple accounts with Yodlee, or for that matter any aggregation service/product? There is no way that anyone here can evaluate the security of yodlee unless he can go in with a team of IT security...
by cbeck
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Persuasion and Hypnosis
Replies: 4
Views: 981

Re: Persuasion and Hypnosis

Training is not necessary. Buy a book, follow the directions, and you can do it. I did it years ago as an undergraduate.
by cbeck
Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your thoughts on USAA for checking? Insurance? Banking in general?
Replies: 44
Views: 2213

Re: What are your thoughts on USAA for checking? Insurance? Banking in general?

I have both USAA and State Department Federal Credit Union. I prefer SDFCU, but I am not dropping USAA. Since the OP mentioned depositing checks, this is a function which I have found is better at SDFCU. With USAA you have to scan the check with your cellphone. There is not scanning option on the US...
by cbeck
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to read (and retain)?
Replies: 90
Views: 5201

Re: How to read (and retain)?

Answer is pretty simple: take notes.
by cbeck
Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:14 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: GE shares tank more than 13% after Madoff whistleblower calls it a ‘bigger fraud than Enron'
Replies: 101
Views: 10442

Re: GE shares tank more than 13% after Madoff whistleblower calls it a ‘bigger fraud than Enron'

It's a little shocking to me how many people on here question Markopoulos's bona fides when he has come out with a negative report using only public information as far as we know. I wonder why it is that the motives and methods of authors of positive reports also based on public information are so s...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 16, 2019 9:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A short study of the recent Japanese crisis
Replies: 70
Views: 8444

Re: A short study of the recent Japanese crisis

Can I ask a question related to this please? My impression from having many Japanese friends is that "a Japanese passive investor" has never invested that much in the stock market. They are simply less concerned about what happened to the Japanese stock market than Americans are concerned about the...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taking a break in your 50s: Is it the kiss of death?
Replies: 86
Views: 8379

Re: Taking a break in your 50s: Is it the kiss of death?

Yes, the kiss and the smothering embrace of death. In our 50's is when we can build up the retirement fund, because the income is still high while the expenses are likely to be lower. Thirty-five times earnings may not be enough to retire as early as one's 50's, in my opinion. My advice is definitel...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?
Replies: 53
Views: 5398

Re: Best secure email to use instead of gmail?

For those who might be interested in Protonmail.com, you might like to know that in the past they have offered a two-years-for-the-price-of-one deal on one day only, Black Friday. If you try the free version until then and like it, then you could wait to upgrade until then. Tutanota.com is cheaper a...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 16, 2019 8:00 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?
Replies: 35
Views: 2629

Re: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?

The IRS neither knows nor cares where I live. The IRS definitely knows where you live. You are required to fill in your address when you file taxes and you are required to certify under oath that you haven't misrepresented anything on your taxes. For all practical purposes, I agree that the IRS doe...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 15, 2019 7:50 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?
Replies: 35
Views: 2629

Re: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?

* Invididual states will usually consider you a resident so long as you have a driver license and/or you are registered to vote, which is why it's important to move to a state that has no income tax before you move abroad. Some states don't even recognize your expat status. * The IRS considers you ...
by cbeck
Tue Aug 13, 2019 6:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for
Replies: 31
Views: 2768

Re: Is "My Social Security" online worth signing up for

Even if your credit is not frozen you can get that refusal message when you try to open an account at ssa.gov. When you enter your address they check it against the last address that the credit bureau has for you. If they don't match, then you'll get rejected. If that happens keep trying previous ad...
by cbeck
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does taxable, savings and retirement calculate into life insurance planning?
Replies: 16
Views: 999

Re: How does taxable, savings and retirement calculate into life insurance planning?

As or more important than life insurance is long term disability insurance Thank you for the reminder, that's up next. The best tool that I have found for estimating how much life insurance, and which is not just a sales tool, is Esplanner from esplanner.com. It takes into account all the variables...
by cbeck
Sun Aug 11, 2019 7:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

Sure, but if investors believed it was a genuine change in dividend policy, for instance if the announcement came instead from Buffet's successor, and not a one-off event then the stock price would go up. In that case investors would be putting a low (and in my opinion, justified) view on the value...
by cbeck
Sun Aug 11, 2019 5:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hearing Aids
Replies: 45
Views: 3265

Re: Hearing Aids

The economics of hearing aids are particularly interesting. Unlike virtually every other consumer electronic device the price of HAs has been going up steadily for years, as much as 8%/year. How is this possible? HAs are unique, but not in technology. They use digital signal processors which are wid...
by cbeck
Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

SS is projected to "run out of money" by 2034 and reduce payments by 21%. I will be turning 62 in 2034, of course the future may bring changes. Being self employed I contribute as little as possible ( S-Corp is taxed, draw is not) and invest weekly as funds are earned. I am not counting on SS for m...
by cbeck
Sun Aug 11, 2019 12:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

Unless you are rich or terminally ill, you need longevity insurance. I suppose you could take up skydiving if you wanted to reduce your need for longevity insurance somewhat.

Why do I feel like I am talking to a wall?
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

Has anyone used one of the genetic testing outfits to get an idea of life expectancy & use to determine the best age to claim? I think this would have the biggest effect if the tests are accurate. Packer Current research supports the view that longevity is only about 10% or 15% heritable, down from...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best way to regularly (auto) e-Transfer funds to someone else’s bank account?
Replies: 16
Views: 999

Re: Best way to regularly (auto) e-Transfer funds to someone else’s bank account?

Popmoney.com lets you set up automatically recurring payments. Many of the other payment services do not. Have to make sure that banks at both ends support popmoney, but most do since the banks themselves set it up.
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

Has anyone used one of the genetic testing outfits to get an idea of life expectancy & use to determine the best age to claim? I think this would have the biggest effect if the tests are accurate. Packer Current research supports the view that longevity is only about 10% or 15% heritable, down from...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Checking credit card statements
Replies: 52
Views: 2816

Re: Checking credit card statements

I do a genuine monthly reconciliation of the CC bill against transactions I have manually entered into Quicken as they occur. (Downloading the bank's transactions into Quicken means that no reconciliation is possible, since it would just be comparing 2 copies of the same, possibly incorrect, data.) ...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

Has anyone used one of the genetic testing outfits to get an idea of life expectancy & use to determine the best age to claim? I think this would have the biggest effect if the tests are accurate. Packer Current research supports the view that longevity is only about 10% or 15% heritable, down from...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does taxable, savings and retirement calculate into life insurance planning?
Replies: 16
Views: 999

Re: How does taxable, savings and retirement calculate into life insurance planning?

The best tool that I have found for estimating how much life insurance, and which is not just a sales tool, is Esplanner from esplanner.com. It takes into account all the variables you have mentioned plus a lot more and makes a series of recommendation, including how much insurance you need.
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

Here's a thought experiment for you. How about if Warren Buffet announced a $5 billion dividend today with an ex-date today also. Would the stock price go or down? I think it would shoot up, because it would signal the likelihood of future dividends paid to shareholders. Maybe, but even if it occur...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

Here's a thought experiment for you. How about if Warren Buffet announced a $5 billion dividend today with an ex-date today also. Would the stock price go or down? I think it would shoot up, because it would signal the likelihood of future dividends paid to shareholders. Maybe, but even if it occur...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

Exactly right. Coca Cola has earnings. It paid the dividend from prior earnings and is likely to have earnings in the future, which is why the payment of a dividend is rarely, if ever, a permanent reduction in the stock price making that issue a red herring. The stock price dips for a few days, whi...
by cbeck
Sat Aug 10, 2019 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

To me, deciding to defer at 62 today is especially difficult because the benefit reductions already provided for in roughly 15 years seem like a best-case scenario. You think that's a best case scenario? You see no chance that Congress will once again revise the SS rules (as they always have) in or...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?
Replies: 35
Views: 2629

Re: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?

4. Do not do any money transfers to or from your brokers that references your foreign bank. Do those with your bank and then an addition hop to or from the broker. What about money transfer services like Transferwise, OXF, etc.? Is it OK to link those to your brokerage account and foreign account, ...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

That's why Coca Cola which must have paid out more than its share price over the years is now trading at zero. Really? No, because Coca-Cola has earnings. [/quote] Exactly right. Coca Cola has earnings. It paid the dividend from prior earnings and is likely to have earnings in the future, which is ...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:54 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?
Replies: 35
Views: 2629

Re: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?

Don't tell your broker you are moving overseas. It's really that simple. Instead of complicating things, use an address in the usa, a vpn, and a google voice number for two factor authentication. Schwab is actually okay with people who they know live part of the time overseas but not people who tel...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

Funny that you say it's nonsensical when what he/she described is exactly what happens. On the other hand, what you described is nonsensical. When a dividend is issued the price is permanently lowered to the exact amount of the dividend. Then, normal market movement occurs from there. It can go up ...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why buy sovereign bonds with a negative yield?
Replies: 94
Views: 6586

Re: Why buy sovereign bonds with a negitave yeald?

The Japanese govt at one point imposed a negative interest rate on bank balances in an effort to counteract deflation by coercing spending. It didn't work because the negative interest rate was only about 0.25% and the deflation rate was higher. So, the depositer still came out ahead by just leaving...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:33 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

I believe the mathematics in this discussion center around the NAV being reduced when the dividend is distributed? It amazes me the market is able to do that so accurately without a central pricing authority of some sort. DBR gave me a link a while back in another thread that explains this in more ...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do I need a will?
Replies: 14
Views: 1242

Re: do I need a will?

Thanks for the replies. I should have provided more info in my post. I have no children and no ex-spouses. I do have siblings. We live in Thailand. I have no property other than IRA accounts at US brokerages and a couple of US bank accounts and one bank account in Thailand. The bank accounts have sm...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 08, 2019 4:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

JustinR wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:02 pm

Is it still not clear that receiving a dividend is exactly the same thing as selling shares?

Let me make it clear then in underlined/bolded font:

Receiving a dividend is exactly the same as selling shares.
Do you encounter many people who are persuaded by ex cathedra pronouncements?
by cbeck
Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

I haven't read through the whole thread, so forgive me if what has seemed an epiphany to me has actually been discussed before ... It seems like all the discussions of optimal age of filing for benefits do various calculations to come up with a break-even age, and then you try to figure out if you'...
by cbeck
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

My assumption is that the goal of a dividend portfolio is to avoid having to sell shares. That is not the same thing as “to minimize worst case risk, not to maximize return.” If we have different views about the intended goal of this type of portfolio, then we are going to be arguing in circles. To...
by cbeck
Wed Aug 07, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?
Replies: 35
Views: 2629

Re: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?

As a long-time expat I totally agree with this. I do exactly the same, although I have never had any problem with VG, Fidelity and others when I've mentioned that I live overseas. I have heard from other expats who were also inexplicably not shut out by Fidelity or Vanguard. However, we have to con...
by cbeck
Wed Aug 07, 2019 1:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do I need a will?
Replies: 14
Views: 1242

do I need a will?

I am currently preparing documents for my wife to guide her through what she would have to do in the event of my death. I don't have a will and don't think I need one for these reasons: I own no car or property other than bank and brokerage accounts. Currently, and as I plan for the future, all my f...
by cbeck
Tue Aug 06, 2019 9:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"
Replies: 247
Views: 18126

Re: Is this right? "if you live off dividends, a crash in stocks prices doesn't matter"

What I notice in this discussion is a sly trick by those who are against the live-off-dividends strategy. The goal of the strategy to provide an adequate income while reducing the very substantial risk of a market crash, particularly early in retirement, that adversely and permanently affects portfo...
by cbeck
Tue Aug 06, 2019 7:56 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?
Replies: 35
Views: 2629

Re: so many issues for US expats ... would forming an investing LLC in the US help?

Under no circumstances should you alert your brokerage or bank that you live abroad. Some of them like Fidelity and VG may very well close your account immediately, although experiences do vary. It has happened to me. Therefore the only prudent way to manage it is to take these steps: 1. get a mail ...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Renter Forever?
Replies: 68
Views: 6243

Re: Renter Forever?

For lots of reasons I am happy to be a renter since I sold my home in 2005 in anticipation of the bursting of the housing bubble. However, there is an economic benefit to home ownership that I am surprised that no one has mentioned: imputed rent. Although many retirees will be in lower tax brackets,...
by cbeck
Fri Aug 02, 2019 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VOIP - what do you use?
Replies: 55
Views: 3777

Re: VOIP - what do you use?

I have a first generation Ooma since 2008. Still works fine and call quality very good even though I'm in Asia. Also, I have no monthly cost at all, not even the taxes. Fortunately, Ooma still honors their promise of completely free service for the first gen devices, presumably for as long as the de...
by cbeck
Thu Aug 01, 2019 7:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 329
Views: 26495

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

For me, I have two living grandparents aged 94 and 102, and another that died aged 93. They also don't know that my wife is seven years younger than me and might draw down an extra decade at maximum dollars, even if I'm gone. In short, it's pretty clear waiting to 70 is the best bet for me. Delayin...
by cbeck
Sun Apr 21, 2019 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Video Camera to check in on Elderly Parent
Replies: 76
Views: 5318

Re: Video Camera to check in on Elderly Parent

I set up Amazon Echos in each room of my 97-year-old father's apartment. These consist of one Echo and two of the smaller Dot versions. Any Echo device would work. I "drop in" on him several times a week using for chats. In addition, I opened an account for him at askmybuddy.net and installed the a...
by cbeck
Sat Apr 20, 2019 10:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Video Camera to check in on Elderly Parent
Replies: 76
Views: 5318

Re: Video Camera to check in on Elderly Parent

I set up Amazon Echos in each room of my 97-year-old father's apartment. These consist of one Echo and two of the smaller Dot versions. Any Echo device would work. I "drop in" on him several times a week using for chats. In addition, I opened an account for him at askmybuddy.net and installed the ap...