Search found 179 matches

by BetaTracker
Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone Used Medigap from Health Net?
Replies: 0
Views: 157

Anyone Used Medigap from Health Net?

The healthcare benefits specialist at my office has told me that Medigap (plan F) plans all cover the same and he’s recommending Health Net as the cheapest provider. We live in California (Bay Area), and I want to ask if anyone has experience with Health Net?
by BetaTracker
Thu Sep 20, 2018 2:32 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Requesting portfolio review
Replies: 17
Views: 1881

Re: Requesting portfolio review

Not to add more complexity, but do you have a backup plan if something happens to you? Is your wife willing and able to assume responsibilities for any eventual portfolio you devise? I ask because we're a little bit older and further along in our retirement planning. But after going through all of t...
by BetaTracker
Sat Jul 07, 2018 7:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard factor funds slow to catch on
Replies: 78
Views: 9409

Re: Vanguard factor funds slow to catch on

The ETF.com article and data referenced to kickoff this post -- and to catch our attention -- is almost three months old! When talking about fund flows, that can be a little offsetting. Much was written at the time when Vanguard first introduced these funds about how little info they were offering i...
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does It Make Sense to Wait to Claim SocSec?
Replies: 62
Views: 7245

Re: Does It Make Sense to Wait to Claim SocSec?

Yes, thanks for asking! We can comfortably dip into our savings (investment portfolio) right now at around 3% a year, but I think we can get by without it for awhile. (Thanks again Bogleheads.)
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does It Make Sense to Wait to Claim SocSec?
Replies: 62
Views: 7245

Re: Does It Make Sense to Wait to Claim SocSec?

Thanks! I tried to search and didn’t find a post about delaying with no earned income, but I probably missed something that would be obvious to most. This SS and retirement planning really seems confusing to me. I take it that waiting a few years won’t harm things much. (Her health issues are more a...
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best portable air conditioner
Replies: 8
Views: 825

Re: Best portable air conditioner

Is it fairly quiet?
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does It Make Sense to Wait to Claim SocSec?
Replies: 62
Views: 7245

Does It Make Sense to Wait to Claim SocSec?

Hi, my wife plans to retire soon when she reaches age 65 due to health and job stress issues. My question is: If she doesn’t work and we can figure out a way to live without claiming her Social Security benefits for a year or two (her full benefits don’t kick in until after age 66), does that sort o...
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best portable air conditioner
Replies: 8
Views: 825

Re: Best portable air conditioner

Looks easy to hook up, but if your friend found it didn’t do a very good job then $400 might be a lot to spend!
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best portable air conditioner
Replies: 8
Views: 825

Re: Best portable air conditioner

Ah, thanks — that makes sense. I’ll just look for a big fan!
by BetaTracker
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best portable air conditioner
Replies: 8
Views: 825

Best portable air conditioner

It’s starting to heat up and I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions on a good portable air conditioner that doesn’t need to be connected through a window? We’d like to be able to place it in our small living room as well as our small bedroom upstairs. Home Depot seems to have a big selection on...
by BetaTracker
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Handle Medicare
Replies: 5
Views: 729

Re: How to Handle Medicare

Yes, her employer has several thousand workers. After she retires, it also has some sort of continuing coverage where it'll pitch in and pick up a certain percentage of her health insurance costs, if that makes any sense ... not sure how that might effect Medicare, either!
by BetaTracker
Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:19 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Handle Medicare
Replies: 5
Views: 729

How to Handle Medicare

My wife is turning 65 in early 2019, but her health insurance is currently being handled through her employer. The company's open enrollment is in October for the coming year, so she's wondering if she just has to file with Medicare and tell them she's going to stay on her employer's plan, or does s...
by BetaTracker
Thu May 31, 2018 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: M1 Finance: What’s the Catch?
Replies: 10
Views: 2158

M1 Finance: What’s the Catch?

I’ve been trying to find a low cost robo to manage our portfolio for my wife in case something happens to me. She has no interest in handling this task herself, so up to now I’ve been thinking it might be best to send her to Vanguard’s PAS robo. But I’ve been reading lately how some Bogleheads like ...
by BetaTracker
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard New Factor Funds Portfolio Statistics
Replies: 212
Views: 31552

Re: Vanguard New Factor Funds Portfolio Statistics

Wait, aren't these ETFs still building their portfolios? I read somewhere that most of these funds are nowhere near where their portfolio managers expect them to be at a more mature stage? If you're trying to measure degrees of tilts on actively managed funds, aren't things like trade execution and ...
by BetaTracker
Sun Mar 04, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is Now the Time to Reduce Bond Duration?
Replies: 41
Views: 4894

Re: Is Now the Time to Reduce Bond Duration?

Doesn't this whole discussion raise a more basic issue: Too much worry about risks in bonds? If you're thinking about this so early in an expected cycle of higher rates, why not just keep duration low (short-term bond index fund) on a permanent basis, and instead put more of your risk exposure into ...
by BetaTracker
Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: No DFA Forums?
Replies: 8
Views: 1119

No DFA Forums?

Didn't Morningstar used to have a discussion forum just for DFA funds? I can't find one now -- anyone know of any good discussion groups/forums about DFA funds?
by BetaTracker
Wed Feb 07, 2018 11:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversification Value of Int'l Bonds In Shaky Markets?
Replies: 2
Views: 205

Diversification Value of Int'l Bonds In Shaky Markets?

A friend who is invested heavily in a Vanguard LifeStrategy fund with both Total Bond Market and Total International Bond told me that over the past three months as fear in bond markets has spread, the international bond fund has held up better. He showed me a Morningstar tool where he tracks all of...
by BetaTracker
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Flat Rate Advisors
Replies: 1
Views: 247

Flat Rate Advisors

Last year when I was investigating flat rate advisors as opposed to listing Vanguard PAS as the place to go for my wife in case something happened to me, a firm quoted a price that equates to about 0.15% of our current portfolio. But his fee was stated as a set amount per quarter. I'm wondering if a...
by BetaTracker
Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Overall Portfolio Plan Critique
Replies: 5
Views: 536

Re: Overall Portfolio Plan Critique

Sorry to hear about your job loss. It looks like you've got a lot in cash. Does it fit into some sort of target range for emergency funds, or have you gotten that far yet? A few quick questions: How much are you paying on your mortgage? Also, does your rental property generate any income stream?
by BetaTracker
Mon Jan 29, 2018 8:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Diego for 3-4 Days for a Couple
Replies: 25
Views: 2046

Re: San Diego for 3-4 Days for a Couple

If you like jazz, Humphreys Backstage Live is a great music venue with good food.
http://www.humphreysbackstagelive.com/
by BetaTracker
Sun Jan 28, 2018 3:27 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income
Replies: 55
Views: 6696

Re: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income

You say you're in the 37% tax bracket. Marginal rates might not be the best way to analyze how great of a need you have to hold so much in munis. When I had a similar discussion with my accountant, he told me to look at average tax rates. His reasoning was that rates are applied in a stacked manner ...
by BetaTracker
Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income
Replies: 55
Views: 6696

Re: Municipal Bonds - 100% When All You Need is the Income

How will the new cap on local and state tax deductions impact your holding of so many national munis?
by BetaTracker
Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active Core Bond Beats Total Index in 2017
Replies: 12
Views: 2817

Re: Active Core Bond Beats Total Index in 2017

Checking Vanguard's site, the sector and credit quality figures seem to be fairly similar to Morningstar's numbers. But even with slightly more lower-rated bonds, the active fund still has almost the same SEC yield as Total Bond. Taking extra credit risks in bonds in exchange for just 0.28% more in ...
by BetaTracker
Mon Jan 01, 2018 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Active Core Bond Beats Total Index in 2017
Replies: 12
Views: 2817

Active Core Bond Beats Total Index in 2017

It looks like from Morningstar's performance page, the new actively managed Vanguard Core Bond Fund (admiral shares) beat Vanguard Total Bond Market (admiral shares) in 2017, 3.89% vs. 3.57%. If I'm reading it right, the numbers are through Friday, Dec. 29. So maybe these returns should be considere...
by BetaTracker
Thu Jun 22, 2017 2:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do Indexers Need 401(k) Plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 2471

Re: Do Indexers Need 401(k) Plans?

Thanks everyone -- sure saves me money asking ya'll rather than going to a CPA's office! Since everything's now at Vanguard, both our personal taxable accounts, IRAs and now the 401k), think it's best to max out the 401(k).
by BetaTracker
Thu Jun 22, 2017 12:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do Indexers Need 401(k) Plans?
Replies: 15
Views: 2471

Do Indexers Need 401(k) Plans?

After years of terrible 401(k) options, my employer finally switched to Vanguard. Now I can invest in the same index funds as in our brokerage account at Vanguard. My question is: Since we use a basic three-fund index portfolio, which is already very tax efficient, is there any real upside to contri...
by BetaTracker
Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 5455

Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

I hear everyone about going with Balanced Fund or something similar with taxable bonds in a taxable account as opposed to paying up for Vanguard's PAS service. The problem is that I really don't feel like gambling on tax rates over the next 30-40 years, which is what we're ultimately looking at for ...
by BetaTracker
Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 5455

Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Thanks for all of the great input. We've sat down and talked about our options and decided to stick with our three fund portfolio. My wife brought up a lot of things that could go wrong and didn't express a lot of confidence in managing everything on her own. We went over costs of hiring another adv...
by BetaTracker
Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 5455

Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Oh, thanks. The problem comes from the fact that we've both got traditional IRAs and Roths. So in total there are five different accounts with varying mixes of Total Stock, Total International and in the IRAs, Total Bond. My wife just gets dizzy looking at it all! It's easy for me to juggle but she'...
by BetaTracker
Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 5455

Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Taylor recommends the three-fund portfolio for those without taxable accounts. We've been following that advice since about 20% of our portfolio is in a taxable account. I'm just trying to plan ahead for a time when my wife, who has no interest in handling our portfolio, might have to take over. Our...
by BetaTracker
Wed May 31, 2017 12:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names
Replies: 31
Views: 5363

Re: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names

Since it has been around (iShares only offered EEM at 0.7% for years -- nice!), the new IEMG and VWO so far have nearly identical three year price returns, according to Morningstar.
by BetaTracker
Tue May 30, 2017 6:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names
Replies: 31
Views: 5363

Re: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names

Wow, pretty self-serving. Thanks for the education nisiprius, Dominic and lazyday! Even more reason to stay away from individual stocks.
by BetaTracker
Tue May 30, 2017 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names
Replies: 31
Views: 5363

Re: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names

So again Vanguard is watching out for us. Just goes to show ...
by BetaTracker
Tue May 30, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names
Replies: 31
Views: 5363

Emerging Markets Index Missing Big Names

What does anyone think of this story on MarketWatch? It points out that Vanguard's emerging markets index fund and ETF doesn't include two of the biggest companies, Alibaba and Baidu. Although those are just two companies, the article points out that both have big market caps and are prominent membe...
by BetaTracker
Sat May 27, 2017 10:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: California municipal / VCLAX
Replies: 15
Views: 2251

Re: California municipal / VCLAX

Closed-end bond funds often are fairly leveraged. The ones you're looking at don't seem to be trading right now at great discounts, either. If you're looking at these CEFs, maybe a first question should be: Do you want an open-end fund (like Vanguard's), or do you want a closed-end fund? An even bet...
by BetaTracker
Sun Mar 26, 2017 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Tax Liabilities
Replies: 8
Views: 1178

Re: Estate Tax Liabilities

Thanks for your comments! The lawyer in question does advertise as an estate expert. My hope is that my father simply doesn't understand and what is going on is that he's being set up with an irrevocable trust. I will ask the lawyer myself.
by BetaTracker
Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Estate Tax Liabilities
Replies: 8
Views: 1178

Estate Tax Liabilities

Does this sound right: A lawyer is telling my dad that he should split up his assets and create new accounts in order to cut any possible future inheritance tax bills. His taxable account is wrapped under a living trust. But this trust account has just two index funds, adding up to less than $500k. ...
by BetaTracker
Mon Mar 20, 2017 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short Vs. Intermediate Corp. Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 1029

Re: Short Vs. Intermediate Corp. Bonds

Thanks -- supports my inclination to stick with TBM and not add a small overweight to corporates. I'm less concerned about trying to play yields than total return over the long turn, in any case. (For explanation about the "bigger bang"comment, I read somewhere that the risk-reward tradeoff betwen g...
by BetaTracker
Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Short Vs. Intermediate Corp. Bonds
Replies: 6
Views: 1029

Short Vs. Intermediate Corp. Bonds

I've read that short-term corporate bond funds like the Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index provide more bang for your buck than something like the Intermediate-Term Corporate fund. I'm considering adding one to fill a 25% slot in our bond portfolio that recently opened due to a new one-time source of mo...
by BetaTracker
Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Split Pension
Replies: 58
Views: 5814

Re: How to Split Pension

I'll take our low cost globally diversified three index fund folder over anything a pension plan says it can guarantee. Regardless, a funny twist has developed. I've shown my wife all of your comments and it's inspired probably the most extensive financial discussion we've ever had. She is genuinely...
by BetaTracker
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about Raymond James?
Replies: 28
Views: 4975

Re: Tell me about Raymond James?

As an investor I definitely agree Raymond James charges too much for my tastes, barnaclebob. On the other hand, for an employee I wonder how you'd look at things. If Vanguard charges us such low fees, I'd think it certainly isn't paying the highest wages to its workers. What's the tradeoff?
by BetaTracker
Wed Feb 22, 2017 6:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tell me about Raymond James?
Replies: 28
Views: 4975

Re: Tell me about Raymond James?

Sounds like they've built a highly ethical culture built around letting their employees do well by their clients. Found this that might help:
http://financialadvisoriq.com/c/1290043/145903
by BetaTracker
Tue Feb 21, 2017 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Split Pension
Replies: 58
Views: 5814

Re: How to Split Pension

Lots of good info to chew on -- we hadn't even thought about asking for relative value data. They haven't offered it to us at this point. Does anyone think that hiring an hourly planner to run the numbers for us might be a good idea? (Neither of us are good with spreadsheets!) Or is that a waste of ...
by BetaTracker
Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Moving away from Edward Jones to Vanguard
Replies: 51
Views: 11799

Re: Moving away from Edward Jones to Vanguard

Congratulations! We did the same thing about 15 years ago. Never looked back. Although it was awhile ago -- and our EJ broker was a personal family friend we trusted -- I might offer a few pointers. In our case, we had to sell all of our funds first. This was hard simply because we really liked our ...
by BetaTracker
Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Split Pension
Replies: 58
Views: 5814

Re: How to Split Pension

Leif -- how do you get the "even" option? Not sure her employer offers such a possibility -- or am I misunderstanding?
You also suggest putting some of the higher pension into life insurance. You'd do that rather than putting it into our investment portfolio?
by BetaTracker
Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Split Pension
Replies: 58
Views: 5814

Re: How to Split Pension

That sounds like a good idea -- take the maximum amount and put $500/month into our investment portfolio at Vanguard. We really don't need the extra money right now to live on -- we can pretty much live off her Social Security benefits and I'm planning on working for at least several more years. As ...
by BetaTracker
Mon Feb 20, 2017 10:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to Split Pension
Replies: 58
Views: 5814

How to Split Pension

My wife is planning on retiring in a few months.Her company also offers a traditional pension through an annuity. She has the option of taking 100% for herself and zero for her husband, plus various percentages the other way to an equal 50/50 split. The difference is $500 a month ($2,500 vs. $2,000)...
by BetaTracker
Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: San Jose, CA Area Bogleheads Chapter
Replies: 99
Views: 32025

Re: San Jose, CA Area Bogleheads Chapter

Wow, if you're serious I think that would be amazing! I see light at the end if a long, long tunnel of trying to get my wife even faintly interested in our portfolio! That sounds like fun!!
by BetaTracker
Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:27 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: San Jose, CA Area Bogleheads Chapter
Replies: 99
Views: 32025

Re: San Jose, CA Area Bogleheads Chapter

Hi, I'm trying to get my wife involved with at least learning how to rebalance our portfolio. We're not going to be available for the February meeting. But would it be possible to suggest a future meeting theme around nudging spouses who aren't into investing that it isn't all that difficult (or dul...
by BetaTracker
Sat Feb 04, 2017 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Schwab "Consultants" Vs. Vanguard PAS
Replies: 9
Views: 1510

Re: Schwab "Consultants" Vs. Vanguard PAS

Thanks for all of the insights. We're in a little different situation because as long as I'm around, this forum provides plenty of resources for me to make sure we're staying the course. Right now, we don't anticipate needing an advisor. But my wife has zero interest in finances. I've tried to get h...