Search found 1899 matches

by GerryL
Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coffee tablebooks??
Replies: 21
Views: 1249

Re: Coffee tablebooks??

Your posting it too vague for people to give you good suggestions. Browse the oversize section of your public library to get an idea of the scope variety and range of possibilities. I was just going to suggest getting some oversized books from the library to audition on your coffee table. (I'm a re...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High premiums on life insurance from financial advisor?
Replies: 10
Views: 461

Re: High premiums on life insurance from financial advisor?

Anyone can call him/herself a financial advisor. Someone who makes a living selling insurance is an insurance salesman (woman).
by GerryL
Mon Nov 19, 2018 6:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Projecting 2018 Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 833

Re: Projecting 2018 Taxes

Easiest is to use last year's numbers . A loss is under realized gains/losses tab. It will all be a guess, so don't fret if your off by a few hundred. +1 What I do. It's difficult to estimate taxes precisely before December as fourth quarter distributions are made at that time. It's for that reason...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 19, 2018 3:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?
Replies: 43
Views: 4071

Re: Current Retirees: Do you touch your principal?

Four years into retirement. Given my spending rate, I expect that my net worth will grow or stay steady, but if it declines I'm okay with that. I may eventually push it along with gifts. I am not trying to die with more money than I started retirement with.
by GerryL
Sun Nov 18, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Black Friday 2018
Replies: 44
Views: 4151

Re: Black Friday 2018

Socks. Socks. Socks. Fred Meyers, a local grocery and everything else store, traditionally includes 50% off all socks for 1/2 day only. They bring in cases and cases of all kinds of socks. Men's, Women's, Kids'. Single pair and packages. Dressy and sport. Usually I am out of town for this holiday an...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 18, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion amount question
Replies: 7
Views: 554

Re: Roth conversion amount question

And how close are you to Medicare age? Be aware that pushing your income over a certain threshold 2 years before you begin Medicare could subject you to increased premiums for a year. Look up IRMAA.
It may be worth it for you, but you need to be aware of it.
by GerryL
Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Can I do a 2018 Roth conversion up until I file my 2018 taxes or 4/15/2019?
Replies: 4
Views: 405

Re: Can I do a 2018 Roth conversion up until I file my 2018 taxes or 4/15/2019?

Conversions must be completed in the tax year you will be paying the tax on the conversion. If you wait until early in 2019, that will be a 2019 conversion.
by GerryL
Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Emergency Fund; How Much to Keep Very Liquid?
Replies: 17
Views: 1434

Re: Retirement Emergency Fund; How Much to Keep Very Liquid?

Upon retiring in 2014, I had quite a bit of cash, say, high 5 figures, including several 1- and 2-year CDs (semi-liquid), because I never invested my severance package. I was using that cash plus a couple of tiny pensions and dividends for living expenses. Now that I have started collecting SS and c...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 15, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch
Replies: 68
Views: 4544

Cremation seminar – with complimentary lunch

On this forum we’ve frequently seen (and participated in) discussions about “free” meals for listening to a wealth management pitch. Has anyone ever attended an event put on by Smart Cremation? (I believe I heard that they now run most cremation services in the US.) I got an invitation in the mail t...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 15, 2018 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: VA (veterans admin) benefits for dementia
Replies: 7
Views: 412

Re: VA (veterans admin) benefits for dementia

My mother was herself a WWII vet. She was in assisted living and had been diagnosed (as much as one can be diagnosed) with Alzheimer's when we applied for VA benefits for her. I believe it is called Aid and Attendance. She was eventually granted a benefit and because she could not live on her own gi...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching young folks how to save for retirement
Replies: 27
Views: 1889

Re: Teaching young folks how to save for retirement

OP, <<Teaching young folks how to save for retirement>> I believe that the goal is wrong in the first place. The young people believe that they will live forever. So, why would they care and should they care about retirement (62 years old)? The proper goal is to teach young people how to manage the...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!
Replies: 108
Views: 15060

Re: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!

We haven't heard back from OP Alex in days. What are the odds that he is just trolling us? Throw a bomb post into the forum and then watch (or not) as everyone wastes time responding and getting into spats. His OP was yesterday around 5 pm — hardly days. Guess this thread just makes it seem like da...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!
Replies: 108
Views: 15060

Re: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!

We haven't heard back from OP Alex in days. What are the odds that he is just trolling us? Throw a bomb post into the forum and then watch (or not) as everyone wastes time responding and getting into spats.
by GerryL
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching young folks how to save for retirement
Replies: 27
Views: 1889

Re: Teaching young folks how to save for retirement

I think that teaching financial literacy to young people may be an area of interest for me after I retire. So important that they understand at least the basics (savings, compounding, stocks vs bonds, the true cost of credit card debt, etc.) I can understand them being mystified, overwhelmed and la...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 14, 2018 1:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Understanding the difference in cell phone OS types
Replies: 49
Views: 2445

Re: Understanding the difference in cell phone OS types

When I decided to finally get a smartphone some years back, I had the same OS debate in my head. I opted for the iPhone because family and many friends were on iPhones. That meant I could get answers to questions and that I would be able to text with them without having to pay extra for a plan that ...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?
Replies: 26
Views: 3116

Re: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?

Mike Scott wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:31 pm
If I had enough money to interest a wealth manager, I would "retire" and pay myself to do it.
That's what many of us here have done. :wink:
by GerryL
Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!
Replies: 108
Views: 15060

Re: I can't take this anymore=) I'm selling stocks and buying bonds!

Alex, I'm probably older than you. Already retired. I check my portfolio every week or two when I go into Quicken to manage bills, etc. Last week I was up about $80k. The previous week I was down over $60k, which is more than I spend in a year. That's what happens. But the numbers get bigger the lon...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garmins & Fitbits: Worth it for non-athletes?
Replies: 42
Views: 2537

Re: Garmins & Fitbits: Worth it for non-athletes?

I use my Fitbit mostly as motivation to get moving. If I've been sitting for a long time it prompts me to get up and move at least a bit each hour. I also look back over the week to see what my sleep pattern looks like. I like having something on my wrist rather than in my pocket (if I have a pocket...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 13, 2018 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Social Security Question
Replies: 8
Views: 964

Re: Social Security Question

I am 62 and retired with a government pension (FERS) I have read that if I wait until I’m 70 to take my Social Security I will earn Delayed Retirement Credits of 8 percent a year. But a friend of mine said that I have to be still working and paying into Social Security to earn 8 percent. Is he righ...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Global Entry Turnaround Time ?
Replies: 28
Views: 2031

Re: Global Entry Turnaround Time ?

No more than a week for me from application to approval. Best use of a couple hours of my time ever. Skip the lines both at customs and get the Trusted Traveller line domestic. No taking off shoes or emptying bags. It’s like stepping back in time 30 years. :D Warning: If you return to the US and go...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:10 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we drop our manager, for 4-fund portfolio?
Replies: 61
Views: 5383

Re: Should we drop our manager, for 4-fund portfolio?

Thank you for the good points. Should I predecease her or question my own cognitive capacity I foresee the AUM manager back in the picture. I too am hazy on how dependent I'll be on the bus driving income after my wife stops working in 2020 ($50K/yr pre tax). I believe social security income, mine ...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Apple - Old Product Boxes - Keep or Dispose?
Replies: 20
Views: 2424

Re: Apple - Old Product Boxes - Keep or Dispose?

I'm a box collector. I have plenty of storage space to store lots and lots of boxes. But only for making moves easier. Very easy to pack the toaster, or the coffee pot, or the laptop computer back into its original packaging and then into the moving boxes. Instead of packing randomly shaped objects...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should we drop our manager, for 4-fund portfolio?
Replies: 61
Views: 5383

Re: Should we drop our manager, for 4-fund portfolio?

I am a little hazy on how dependent you are on the bus driving income and so how you’d be affected financially if you had to give it up for some reason. You also did not mention how much Social Security you expect. The reason the above is important is because your portfolio allocation should be det...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Still spending too much on non-essentials
Replies: 38
Views: 2439

Re: Still spending too much on non-essentials

OP: You don't need a fancy, complicated budget. Just use the 50-20-30 plan to get a handle on what you have to spend on yourself. (You can Google it.) No more than 50% of your income goes to essential expenses (e.g., housing, transportation, basic food and clothing) At least 20% of your income goes ...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Decumulation phase of retirement: money market a safe place to park money needed over the next two years?
Replies: 8
Views: 1084

Re: Decumulation phase of retirement: money market a safe place to park money needed over the next two years?

Another thing you might want to consider to build up your cash holdings inside your IRA is to turn off the reinvestment option and have earnings from your 4-fund portfolio go into the MM fund inside your IRA.
by GerryL
Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Managing RMDs
Replies: 10
Views: 1053

Re: Managing RMDs

You have an opportunity here to do some Roth conversions to 1) get the eventual RMDs down and 2) add flexibility to your future withdrawal strategy by having that Roth. So you could live on the cash and also use it to pay the taxes on the Roth conversions while you are in a low tax bracket. The big ...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Quick Turnaround for Passport Applications (No Payment for Expedited Processing)
Replies: 18
Views: 1625

Re: Quick Turnaround for Passport Applications (No Payment for Expedited Processing)

We received our new passports via Priority Mail on Friday of the NEXT WEEK (11 days later). Same here, in the recent few weeks. Didn't note the calendar dates, but did notice the under two week turnaround. I renewed my passport about a year ago and got it back very quickly. Two weeks? Anyway, much ...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Financial] Habits of the Rich
Replies: 200
Views: 24708

Re: [Financial] Habits of the Rich

Sitting here in retirement with a healthy portfolio, I have to reiterate the LBYM mantra. Living below your means is the most fundamental step -- or habit -- for building wealth. During some periods of my life I had to live WITHIN my means, but whenever possible I put something aside, for example, i...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?
Replies: 26
Views: 3116

Re: Anyone use a Wealth Manager?

Before the dot-com crash, when I was a young engineer at a hot little company known for stock options, I was approached by a UBS wealth advisor w/ a VP title, who listed a who's who of senior engineering leaders among his clients. … That he listed many highly respected senior executives as clients ...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard closure last week
Replies: 21
Views: 4697

Re: Vanguard closure last week

I thought that it was to perform a major update to the website. I did go there on Saturday and the initial page had been changed to something that looked radically different. I suspect that it didn't work and they backed the whole upgrade out. When I take my car in for major work I don't expect it ...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Favorite "free stuff"?
Replies: 137
Views: 10516

Re: Favorite "free stuff"?

Lots of great entries above, especially Costco samples, Libraries (tax funded) and Oregon beaches (and all the fossils I find there). One freebie opportunity that I sometimes take advantage of is coming up: Veterans Day. A lot of businesses offer meals or snacks or even free haircuts for people who ...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Need Advice Regarding Where to Put Retirement Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 912

Re: Need Advice Regarding Where to Put Retirement Funds

Be sure to check about possible transaction fees if you opt to use the private brokerage account your company plan makes available. My company's last iteration of the 401k (before I retired) offered a number of core funds and the option of using a brokerage account (at Fidelity) to increase the numb...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 07, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1/3 of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings...
Replies: 77
Views: 8154

Re: 1/3 of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings...

Considering the fact that the Baby Boomer generation is collectively the wealthiest generation of people that have ever lived on planet earth, I'm not sweating their chances at decent retirements too much. Key word here is "collectively." The wealth is not evenly distributed. I saved ferociously an...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1/3 of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings...
Replies: 77
Views: 8154

Re: 1/3 of Baby Boomers have no retirement savings...

lol. werent they saying there would be a run on the index market as boomers pulled out their money and spent it all? good work there older generation. That idea that Boomers would suddenly be pulling their money out of index funds was always specious. No one empties their accounts as soon as they h...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Save for future vehicles vs. pay down mortgage
Replies: 11
Views: 519

Re: Save for future vehicles vs. pay down mortgage

In general, should I transfer money to a "car" savings account each month or throw that money towards the principal of mortgage (fixed 3.99%) and finance future car which I don't plan anytime soon. Mortgage is only debt. Credit Union currently offers 1.8% for new vehicle/48 month term purchases. No...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)
Replies: 46
Views: 4396

Re: How much money did you receive from family? (Gifts/inheritance)

My paternal grandmother died when I was in my early 20s, and I was surprised to get $500 from her estate. It was weird to think that I got money because someone died. As I recall, I put that money into savings even though I was just getting by traveling around Europe and trying different jobs. My pa...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?
Replies: 234
Views: 14601

Re: How much money are you leaving your kids after you die?

Coincidentally, I attended a lawyer chat today on estate planning. The handouts included this line about how much to leave to the kids: "Leave enough for them to do something. Don't leave enough for them to do nothing." I have no kids and intend to leave the bulk of my estate to charity, although I'...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Frustrating issue with VG website. Need advice.
Replies: 12
Views: 1736

Re: Frustrating issue with VG website. Need advice.

Near the top of your Account Overview page -- just above the tabbed section -- there should be a link titled "Customize your account view." You can use this to select which accounts show up on that view. There may be other options to modify other Views. My Flagship rep created a portfolio view exclu...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DAF - Vanguard or Fidelity? (donor advised fund)
Replies: 26
Views: 1585

Re: DAF - Vanguard or Fidelity? (donor advised fund)

I don't know if the form/process is any different when it comes to company stock held at Vanguard (being transferred to Fidelity Charitable), but I am no longer required to get a medallion and was specifically told that is the case when I did a move last spring. Didn't even think about it when I tra...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Furnace Duct Cleaning-a high profit game?
Replies: 31
Views: 3361

Re: Furnace Duct Cleaning-a high profit game?

My neighbor across the street used to have a big truck come up to her house once a year and vacuum her vents out. As a new homeowner, I asked my dad for his advice and he said "Waste of money." I did have it done when I had my furnace replaced some years back. Maybe I'll do it again if I ever have t...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 05, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to know if you’re “On Track”?
Replies: 13
Views: 2109

Re: How to know if you’re “On Track”?

How do you measure whether you’re OK for retirement, as far as being on track for the number you want to reach in your portfolio by age 65? I’d like to make sure we are on the right track there before looking at other things (college education for children, dream home, etc etc). Back in 2004, befor...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 04, 2018 8:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need more than Original Medicare?
Replies: 110
Views: 6146

Re: Do I need more than Original Medicare?

If you are currently in good health you can keep your monthly costs low and protect yourself from possible catastrophic medical costs with 1) an F high-deductible Medigap plan (Your max out-of-pocket h/c cost -- after premiums -- would be the deductible, which is in the neighborhood of $2500 this ye...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 04, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?
Replies: 11
Views: 1622

Re: Where can I put savings to live on for 2+ years?

I did pretty much what you're talking about with a staggered series of Ally "raise your rate" 1- and 2-year CDs. I also stopped reinvesting dividends from my taxable investments and used that as income. Last CD matured a month before first SS payment arrived.
by GerryL
Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teaching kids there is an ample amount of money
Replies: 108
Views: 7969

Re: Teaching kids there is an ample amount of money

Another challenge for teaching kids in high-income families about money that I haven't seen discussed in this thread: You can afford and choose to send your kids to private schools where they socialize with kids from families with sky-high incomes. They may come to see themselves as "poor" and "disa...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 03, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are you learning or studying?
Replies: 112
Views: 9330

Re: What are you learning or studying?

Back in 2015, inspired by posters on this forum, I decided to finally return to France after more than 25 years. So I started studying to recover my lost language skills. (It's a lot easier to relearn a language than it is to learn it the first time.) Have kept it up with a few formal classes, self-...
by GerryL
Sat Nov 03, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Preparing for EOY 2018 Taxes
Replies: 7
Views: 1239

Re: Preparing for EOY 2018 Taxes

I don't know how smart I can claim to be, but I spent several hours this past week preparing for 2018 taxes. I wanted to see how much room I have to pull long-term capital gains out of some stock holdings at 0% tax. * I pulled together all the income and deduction documentation I have and used last ...
by GerryL
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: My Grandmother has 80% stocks
Replies: 55
Views: 5369

Re: My Grandmother has 80% stocks

What are her plans for the money? Does she need it to live on, or is she planning to leave it to grandkids or charity? If the latter, stock-heavy is not really a problem.
by GerryL
Fri Nov 02, 2018 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: ROTH IRA - Bonds or Equities
Replies: 13
Views: 1236

Re: ROTH IRA - Bonds or Equities

This year, as I was approaching my 70th birthday, with SS starting and then RMDs soon to follow, I had a CFP at Vanguard review my plan (which they had helped me with 5 years earlier). I am 60/40 with my retirement funds in a basic 4-fund portfolio. I won't need to tap the Roth, which is about 20% o...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 01, 2018 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7637

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

You pay more taxes when you earn more, I will take that problem any day of the week. Glad to see a bump, and it is modest enough not to make me regret buying my 10k last month! Yup. Expect to pay progressively higher taxes, but my "game" going forward is to keep my MAGI below the IRMAA cliff so I d...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%
Replies: 86
Views: 7637

Re: I Bond fixed rate = 0.5%

I bought several I bonds some years back when they were an especially attractive investment (early 2000s?). They have been growing nicely and I just leave them alone. I recently read something that made me realize that my little stash of I bonds could be a Federal tax time bomb … set to go off just...