Search found 2309 matches

by GerryL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 6:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: This is bad right?? [my investment earnings]
Replies: 22
Views: 1682

Re: This is bad right??

I suspect your advisor is making money at your expense. But we can't make a blanket statement - for example, if he has you invested in only bonds, the performance might be pretty good. Tell us about your agreement with him - do you pay a percentage to him every year? That could explain it. Or he mi...
by GerryL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Heart Transplant — Can I Fund Expenses through our DAF?
Replies: 22
Views: 2209

Re: Heart Transplant — Can I Fund Expenses through our DAF?

OP,
Be sure to carefully read the statement you agree to when submitting a contribution recommendation through your DAF. It is not "just a formality."

-gfl
by GerryL
Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax
Replies: 14
Views: 1313

Re: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax

Does giving to charity actually avoid estate tax? I was attending an "ask the lawyer" kind of meeting about estate planning. I asked if I need to be worried about Oregon state estate taxes (much lower limit than federal) eating into my legacy if I am giving the bulk to charity. I understood his ans...
by GerryL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax
Replies: 14
Views: 1313

Re: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax

Does giving to charity actually avoid estate tax? I was attending an "ask the lawyer" kind of meeting about estate planning. I asked if I need to be worried about Oregon state estate taxes (much lower limit than federal) eating into my legacy if I am giving the bulk to charity. I understood his ans...
by GerryL
Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax
Replies: 14
Views: 1313

Re: help with avoiding inheritance/estate tax

Does giving to charity actually avoid estate tax? I was attending an "ask the lawyer" kind of meeting about estate planning. I asked if I need to be worried about Oregon state estate taxes (much lower limit than federal) eating into my legacy if I am giving the bulk to charity. I understood his answ...
by GerryL
Tue Jul 16, 2019 10:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 10504

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

GerryL: The book you have from the library on "Solo retiring" - the essentials - is it fairly recent? I haven't seen that one in my travels. As you say, the once-marrieds, widows/widowers, etc., 'all' become individuals in that type of category later on, despite the title. The copy I bought has a c...
by GerryL
Mon Jul 15, 2019 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?
Replies: 194
Views: 7712

Re: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?

I did a lot of homework (5+ years ago as I launched into retirement) and this is what I chose and why: Traditional Medicare because I figured that if I wanted to switch to and Advantage plan in the future I could do that, but going from Advantage to traditional is not always possible given limitati...
by GerryL
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?
Replies: 194
Views: 7712

Re: Medigap vs Advantage: Which did you select?

I did a lot of homework (5+ years ago as I launched into retirement) and this is what I chose and why: Traditional Medicare because I figured that if I wanted to switch to and Advantage plan in the future I could do that, but going from Advantage to traditional is not always possible given limitatio...
by GerryL
Mon Jul 15, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 10504

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

As I ponder these issues, I've been seeking out books at the library on the subject of solo aging. I ended up buying this one: "Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A Retirement and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults." One point the author makes right up front is that singles ar...
by GerryL
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 10504

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

As I ponder these issues, I've been seeking out books at the library on the subject of solo aging. I ended up buying this one: "Essential Retirement Planning for Solo Agers: A Retirement and Aging Roadmap for Single and Childless Adults." One point the author makes right up front is that singles are...
by GerryL
Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Passive vs active for parent's retirement
Replies: 19
Views: 1219

Re: Passive vs active for parent's retirement

I think many people on this forum will tell you:
1) Don't mix friends with personal finance
2) Stay far away from Edward Jones.

Let me be the first.
by GerryL
Sat Jul 13, 2019 9:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Being given charity that I don't need
Replies: 51
Views: 4642

Re: Being given charity that I don't need

I was going occasionally to a local burger joint (Burgerville). Didn't know they had a senior discount … and didn't figure out for months that the young people behind the counter had actually been giving me the senior discount. I was in my early 60s. Why I never....(said in Jack Benny voice) I was ...
by GerryL
Fri Jul 12, 2019 6:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Fund Creator Jack Bogle Didn't Like ETFs Being Used For Speculation
Replies: 84
Views: 3405

Re: Why Index Fund Creator Jack Bogle Hated ETFs

Heard Jack say: "There's nothing wrong with exchange-traded funds … as long as you don't trade them."
by GerryL
Fri Jul 12, 2019 3:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Survived the First Week [of retirement, what's next?]
Replies: 69
Views: 7782

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

OP, One thing I started doing when I retired 5 years ago was to begin keeping a daily log. I don't call it a diary, because I don't record deep thoughts or feelings. Not much introspection. It's a simple and most often short note about what I did that day. It generally only takes me a few minutes to...
by GerryL
Fri Jul 12, 2019 2:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A good name for a donor advised fund
Replies: 25
Views: 1363

Re: A good name for a donor advised fund

I named my DAF Ape4Apes Charitable Fund. I thought I could hear the Fidelity rep's eyebrows rise as I named my fund and wondered if they might find a reason to reject it. But they didn't. The bulk of my giving is to primate sanctuaries, so it is appropriate and easy to remember over time. (And I've ...
by GerryL
Thu Jul 11, 2019 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recommendations for binoculars
Replies: 34
Views: 1615

Re: Recommendations for binoculars

Two years ago, before going on a nature-viewing cruise on the Amazon, I shopped intently for a new, smaller pair of binoculars that I could easily pack. After visits to many sports stores, I chose Nikon ProStaff 10x25. Very compact and almost as good a view as my klunky old Bushnell 10x42 model. The...
by GerryL
Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?
Replies: 27
Views: 1946

Re: Anyone else have VG phone reps push toward PAS?

I've only ever experienced a mild upsell effort when I talk to someone on the phone. But then, I'm pretty assertive and let them know that I'm content with my portfolio, which is very much in line with their recommendations, and they can see that I don't make changes beyond rebalancing. I have also ...
by GerryL
Wed Jul 10, 2019 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?
Replies: 47
Views: 4860

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

I neglected to say above (in discussion about premium economy and biz/first class) that my level of luxury has increased largely because "I can afford it." After a life of frugality, I have saved enough to have a very comfortable retirement. Why not spend it for a good purpose? Charitable causes and...
by GerryL
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.
Replies: 140
Views: 10504

Re: If there are no close or trusted relatives close by, who will care for you, pay your bills, etc.

I have not gone deeply into such groups, but our locality has a "group" (annual fee required) called "Neighborhood Village" for seniors needing and wanting help. I gather there are similar organizations elsewhere. The "caring for you" can be provided by commercial agencies. The bill paying and mone...
by GerryL
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?
Replies: 47
Views: 4860

Re: Retirees, did your level of luxury increase faster than you anticipated?

I make 3-4 long (cross-country or transatlantic) round trips a year. I've gotten to the point that premium economy is almost a requirement on any flight over 3 hours. Premium economy seating is what airline seating used to be like "in the old days." But I still consider the cost. Just came back to t...
by GerryL
Tue Jul 09, 2019 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad apps for young kids on international flights
Replies: 7
Views: 528

Re: iPad apps for young kids on international flights

What apps would you recommend? Kids are 3 and 6 (pretty good reader). Apps that work without wifi would be great too Don't know what would keep a 3 and 6 year old happy, but I do know that headphones will keep everyone around you calm. But you probably already know that. (Can't understand parents w...
by GerryL
Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Survived the First Week [of retirement, what's next?]
Replies: 69
Views: 7782

Re: Survived the First Week

Realized this AM that today is the 5th anniversary of the day I officially retired! Can't believe it has been that long. I keep thinking it is like, maybe, 3 years. Like the OP I retired a year earlier than planned -- long planned -- because I was offered a buyout. In the year or so leading up to re...
by GerryL
Sun Jul 07, 2019 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is there any place you can buy a house for 50k west of Kansas?
Replies: 27
Views: 3718

Re: Is there any place you can buy a house for 50k west of Kansas?

In Oregon, Portland, the Coast and the Willamette Valley are pricey, but the rural counties in the eastern part of the state have lower prices. And fewer amenities, of course, but plenty of natural beauty. Check Burns, for one.
by GerryL
Thu Jul 04, 2019 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Moving the Goalposts - a new perspective
Replies: 15
Views: 1893

Re: Moving the Goalposts - a new perspective

I'm one of those people who saved like crazy with no actual goal in mind. A PYF life on steroids. One never knows when the job suddenly disappears, so make the most of saving for the future now. Maxed out 401k. Maxed out Roth. Put aside $$ for ESPP -- and just let stock accumulate. Put $$ aside each...
by GerryL
Mon Jul 01, 2019 11:51 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Feels like never enough in savings?
Replies: 27
Views: 2991

Re: Feels like never enough in savings?

Great points, jeg! I guess I haven't looked at it like that. Yes, I have another 6 months in Roth and much like you, another 4 months in credit cards if things got REALLY bad. I feel like I have a savings sickness! Ha! There are worse sicknesses to have. Have you considered what you might want to d...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 30, 2019 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Did Your Retirement Spend Preferences Change?
Replies: 10
Views: 1248

Re: Did You Retirement Spend Preferences Change?

Yes. My spending "preferences" have changed. I am less frugal than I was most of my life, although I still am very cognizant of value when I decide to make a purchase. And I still look for bargains and discounts. I eat out more often, and I stress less on the cost of the meal. I dither a bit less wh...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 29, 2019 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did Retirement Spending go as You Planned?
Replies: 47
Views: 4679

Re: Did Retirement Spending go as You Planned?

Shortly before retirement I had Vanguard run a plan for me based on estimated expenses similar to what I had while working. Several years into retirement I realized that I really could afford to spend a lot more (not that I was actually spending a lot more) and had Vanguard run my plan again but wit...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 29, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What do you hold in your IRA and Why?
Replies: 48
Views: 3336

Re: What do you hold in your IRA and Why?

My IRA includes all the money contributed over the years to my 401k. Since it holds the bulk of my retirement savings, it is set up as a basic 4-fund index portfolio. After consulting with a Vanguard advisor, my Roth is all international stock fund. I also have a taxable account with Balanced Index ...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 29, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simplicity (Three Fund) vs. Return (Slightly more complex):
Replies: 45
Views: 3138

Re: Simplicity (Three Fund) vs. Return (Slightly more complex):

My investing goal is to have ENOUGH for a comfortable and secure retirement. My simple 60/40 portfolio has gotten me there … and beyond. I have no need to try to get MORE, especially not at the cost of more complexity. So, yeah, maybe I could tweak my portfolio and get a little more -- or not -- it'...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Cancelling 24 Year Old Credit Card
Replies: 31
Views: 2687

Re: Cancelling 24 Year Old Credit Card

If there is no annual fee, another option is to lock it away and stop using it. When the replacement comes, don't activate it. Of course, you'll want to keep an eye on the account to make sure there are no unauthorized charges. Does anyone here know if the impact on one's credit score is the same if...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 27, 2019 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Package delivery man damaged door
Replies: 55
Views: 3573

Re: Package delivery man damaged door

When I was living in the Boston area (30 years ago), the delivery person put a package between the door and screen door of my rental flat. Plenty of room to shut the screen door, but he did not make sure it clicked shut. That afternoon a wind storm ripped the screen door half off its hinges. I filed...
by GerryL
Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Individual Stocks .. talk me out of it
Replies: 31
Views: 1985

Re: Individual Stocks .. talk me out of it

I saw an article this morning that suggested some investors are recruiting satellite photography to look at traffic patterns, to evaluate changes in consumption habits and drive investments decisions. Can you compete with that? If not, why try? I have long said that if you want to gauge the economy...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 10, 2019 2:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?
Replies: 73
Views: 7250

Re: Anything you wish you had spent money on when you were younger?

No time to waste on regrets. I did my traveling when I was young, living in different countries and not really considering the long-term future. When I finally "settled down" in my early 40s, I continued to live like a student. I never succumbed to lifestyle creep, although I did start spending a bi...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Insights From a Long Call With Vanguard Reps Today
Replies: 86
Views: 16040

Re: Insights from Vanguard

I had a very long call with Vanguard today. We discussed many different topics and I thought some of the things they said might interest some of you, so here are some of my notes and impressions: Not exactly surprising but, they agreed LifeStrategy funds aren’t suited for taxable accounts. thanks f...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 09, 2019 4:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Motley Fool Social Security Tip(s)
Replies: 6
Views: 1422

Re: Motley Fool Social Security Tip(s)

Just go to the library and find the book Get What's Yours: Social Security. Or buy it for a lot less than $99. Be sure to get the most recent edition that is up-to-date with changes to the law. Or just go to Phil Moeller's column on the PBS News Hour webpage Making $ense. (He's a co-author of the bo...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Having lunch with a retiree
Replies: 16
Views: 2483

Re: Having lunch with a retiree

As I was approaching retirement, I set up time to sit one-on-one with several friends who were further along the path. We all shared experience volunteering at the Zoo and were all single. In the invitation to meet, I said I wanted to talk about their retirement experiences and assured them that thi...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security deductions after maxing out Social Security benefit?
Replies: 23
Views: 2314

Re: Social Security deductions after maxing out Social Security benefit?

GPTH (Great Problem To Have).
I'm guessing you didn't just earn the max that is subject to FICA but exceeded FICA limits many years. Congratulations.
by GerryL
Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toaster ovens - safe? better alternative?
Replies: 50
Views: 3662

Re: Toaster ovens - safe? better alternative?

There are toaster ovens at around $30 or so, where the emphasis is on "toast." Then there are countertop ovens, also referred to as toaster ovens, that are close to $100 or more. The latter is a key appliance in my kitchen and is used much more than the full-size oven. Toasting bread, reheating pizz...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: iPad vs. iPad Pro vs. 2-in-1 laptop ...
Replies: 5
Views: 857

Re: iPad vs. iPad Pro vs. 2-in-1 laptop ...

At the price you can now get a new iPad (~$250), is the future-proofing a big deal? Secondary device. Mostly entertainment consumption. The new iPad does work with the pencil (version 1). Not sure about available keyboards. Disclaimer: I just bought the iPad a few months ago to supplement my iPad Mi...
by GerryL
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is IRA check writing a security risk?
Replies: 13
Views: 998

Re: Is IRA check writing a security risk?

.......................... Once a year I send the institution holding my IRA a letter asking for checks made out to charities I support, and have the checks mailed to me. This works great. But during the year I send a couple of 1-time contributions, usually related to family and friends deaths. Wit...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for credit card in early retirement (before Social Security & IRA withdrawals)
Replies: 2
Views: 351

Re: Applying for credit card in early retirement (before Social Security & IRA withdrawals)

Interesting. I applied for and was quickly approved for the Costco card under the same circumstances. When they asked me what my income was, I said, "It's whatever I want it to be." (Meaning I can withdraw as much as I need from my accounts.) They told me to pick a number, so I did. About a year bef...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is the rationale for cash in your portfolio?
Replies: 36
Views: 2677

Re: What is the rationale for cash in your portfolio?

This year -- first RMD -- I moved the annual RMD amount from stocks and bonds into the settlement fund of my IRA shortly after the market goosed my earnings. Figured it would be easier to take QCDs and RMDs from "cash" as needed/planned throughout the year. That is essentially the only cash in my po...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA and taxable account
Replies: 13
Views: 1191

Re: IRA and taxable account

One more question.... As I get further down this road with selecting funds, monitoring taxes, thinking about rebalancing, etc, it is starting to feel a bit overwhelming. Would there be anything wrong with just moving the entire thing to Vanguard (taxable and IRA) and paying the .30% advisory fee to...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA and taxable account
Replies: 13
Views: 1191

Re: IRA and taxable account

You have ONE portfolio that consists of an IRA and a taxable account -- and any other investments you have in addition to the inheritance. People here will advise you to look at your portfolio as a whole. That is, if you are comfortable with a 70/30 asset allocation, the next step is to look at how ...
by GerryL
Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Being given charity that I don't need
Replies: 51
Views: 4642

Re: Being given charity that I don't need

I was going occasionally to a local burger joint (Burgerville). Didn't know they had a senior discount … and didn't figure out for months that the young people behind the counter had actually been giving me the senior discount. I was in my early 60s.
by GerryL
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: You May Never See Your Grandchildren Again
Replies: 83
Views: 14505

Re: You May Never See Your Grandchildren Again

What if you don't like your grand kids anyway? I don't answer my phone if the person calling does not start talking to "the machine." Unfortunately, that means I will never get one of those scam calls from someone pretending to by my grandchild and begging for money to get out of a Mexican jail. I ...
by GerryL
Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Problem at Vanguard?
Replies: 42
Views: 5304

Re: Problem at Vanguard?

FYI: On January 1 I checked the balance of my IRA so I could compute the amount of my very first RMD. Wheee! By the time Vanguard computed the RMD a few days later, the figures had changed. Not a lot, but my initial RMD calculation was off. No big deal. Just interesting. Apparently checking as soon ...
by GerryL
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Play Money in Your Portfolio?
Replies: 12
Views: 880

Re: Play Money in Your Portfolio?

I have a significant stash of company stock that I hold "outside" my portfolio. That is, when I last had my financial plan run, I directed the planner to ignore the stock, and I have a view of the Vanguard website that leaves it out of my asset allocation view. I don't really play with it, but I am ...
by GerryL
Tue Jun 04, 2019 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?
Replies: 46
Views: 4346

Re: Amazon free shipping, bait-and-switch?

I put it into my cart and checkout, said no to free shipping and on the "Choose a delivery option", I can ship 10 days for free. It's the second choice under free 2 day prime. I am not prime. Not Prime. Been ordering more recently -- always purchases eligible for free shipping -- and having items s...
by GerryL
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:48 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Road Trip: After the West Coast
Replies: 8
Views: 698

Re: Road Trip: After the West Coast

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is just off I-94 in western North Dakota We are headed there next week. Yup. I was going to suggest Theo. Roosevelt National Park, too. After I left there I continued south and then east across South Dakota* and into Iowa, where in the northwest corner of the state ...