Search found 1654 matches

by GerryL
Thu May 24, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I've never budgeted sucessfully
Replies: 52
Views: 3689

Re: I've never budgeted sucessfully

Look up 50-20-30 budget (or plan or rule). You'll find a lot of references on the web. The idea is no more than 50% should be spent on necessities (e.g. housing costs, transportation, basic food); at least 20% should be saved for goals (including retirement); the rest -- 30% -- is discretionary. The...
by GerryL
Wed May 23, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Best buy and hold vanguard fund forever...
Replies: 28
Views: 2980

Re: Best buy and hold vanguard fund forever...

Anybody a fan of vanguards balanced index fund? I started with the VG Asset Allocation fund and was switching to Balanced Index when they did away with the former and replaced it the latter, so effectively, Balanced Index was my first VG fund. I know that bonds don't belong in taxable, but I didn't...
by GerryL
Tue May 22, 2018 7:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: French hotel amenities...
Replies: 15
Views: 1125

Re: French hotel amenities...

You are very likely to have a bidet in the bathroom. Bidets used to be highly likely. But recently, in cheaper hotels, I had no bidet. Victoria In recent years I have travelled in France a few times after a long absence. I saw no bidets at all. I stayed in both "economy" lodgings that had been retr...
by GerryL
Tue May 22, 2018 7:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quicken - Do you use it?
Replies: 50
Views: 2315

Re: Quicken - Do you use it?

I began using Quicken in the early 1990s just for managing my checking and savings accounts and tracking expenses and bills. Over time I added investments. I made lots of mistakes using it, especially when they did away with the printed manual, so the way I set up accounts is sometimes weird and uns...
by GerryL
Tue May 15, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I tell Social Security I retired?
Replies: 32
Views: 3951

Re: Do I tell Social Security I retired?

Just got back today from about a month of travel and found a letter from the SS office alerting me to the fact that it makes no sense to delay SS beyond age 70 and that I should file my return so I can start collecting when I hit the magic age in September. I already had "file for SS" on my to-do li...
by GerryL
Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows/house
Replies: 9
Views: 1178

Re: Windows/house

I had my windows replaced around 15 years ago. Used CertainTeed vinyl. Thrilled with the difference in noise and temperature control when the installation was new and still happy with the windows all these years later. If you find a good window that is made for the climate where you live, I think th...
by GerryL
Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Easily digestible info/blog on finances for spouse?
Replies: 35
Views: 2532

Re: Easily digestible info/blog on finances for spouse?

Here is one that is targeted at women and covers issues that impact them: http://www.wiserwomen.org/index.php?id=1&page=Home
by GerryL
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What UN-frugal thing do you do? What do you splurge on?]
Replies: 567
Views: 38121

Re: Name something you bought that wasn't cheap and glad you did

A very nice classic, grey trench coat with a removable thinsulate lining (very warm) that I bought in the late 1980s. It was well above the budget I had set for myself, but it was a timeless design and would never go out of style. After a number of years it was starting to get a little shabby in pla...
by GerryL
Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Donor Advised Fund -- checks voided
Replies: 3
Views: 521

Re: Donor Advised Fund -- checks voided

I've had this happen several times, including 2 just recently. - The first time it happened, I discovered on the charity's website that the mailing address had changed. - One of the latest ones involved a charity that had changed both its structure and its address. I volunteer with them, but somehow...
by GerryL
Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Active Adult Retirement Communities
Replies: 36
Views: 3815

Re: Active Adult Retirement Communities

I have a friend who spends fall/winter in Arizona and speaks highly of the active-adult community she moved into near Phoenix a few years ago. I have sent a message asking the name and will let you know when I hear back. Heard back from my friend today. Here are her comments: We live in Sun City We...
by GerryL
Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: If you want an actively managed fund, which one would you use?
Replies: 70
Views: 4983

Re: If you want an actively managed fund, which one would you use?

When I first got into mutual funds so that I could be "in the market" I didn't know anything about index funds. I took the advice of Consumer Reports and picked a fund with low expenses and put my IRA into Dodge & Cox Stock Fund, with an ER of ~0.52. It did very well by me. In about 22 years the ori...
by GerryL
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?
Replies: 163
Views: 12170

Re: What is your AA, given your age? and, Why?

I am in my sixties. My AA is about 60/40 because 1. That seems to work. I really like making money when the stock market goes up and don't mind losing too much money when it goes down. 2. It doesn't really matter than much. 3. It's been that way ft or awhile and will be that way for the rest of my ...
by GerryL
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Active Adult Retirement Communities
Replies: 36
Views: 3815

Re: Active Adult Retirement Communities

I have a friend who spends fall/winter in Arizona and speaks highly of the active-adult community she moved into near Phoenix a few years ago. I have sent a message asking the name and will let you know when I hear back.
by GerryL
Sat Apr 07, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?
Replies: 168
Views: 14859

Re: Parents have zero savings. What can I do?

I'm a big believer in letters. When I was a kid and hoped to get my parents to agree to something, I would put my points in a letter. Often got them to agree and to allow me to do what I was proposing. (In high school I agreed to take drivers ed if they would let me take part in summer theater. Stil...
by GerryL
Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [When is going out to a restaurant worth it to you?]
Replies: 71
Views: 5497

Re: Restaurants Vs. Cooking?

In my single days I ate out a lot because it was hard for me to get through fresh food before a chunk of it spoiled. You gotta eat a lot of sandwiches as a single guy to get through a loaf of bread before it dries out. I calculated it was actually cheaper to eat out. All my days have been single da...
by GerryL
Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What is Megacorp?
Replies: 62
Views: 4711

Re: What is Megacorp?

Megacorp = If I said the name you'd know the company.
by GerryL
Thu Apr 05, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you change approach if no kids, no family?
Replies: 15
Views: 1988

Re: Would you change approach if no kids, no family?

Similar situation but did not have own business. The thing about being single is that you have no one to back you up, so if the employment situation goes sour you're on your own. But with no kids, there is no one dependent on you. I just kept working and saving. I generally enjoyed my job. Never rea...
by GerryL
Wed Apr 04, 2018 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Travel (Or any other specific) fund - How do you budget and save it?
Replies: 18
Views: 1004

Re: Travel (Or any other specific) fund - How do you budget and save it?

I used to subdivide my money market/savings into sub-accounts: car, LTC premium, and special (travel, splurges). It was a kludge I did in Quicken and it became a bear to manage as I deposited and withdrew funds in these fake accounts while my bank statements showed a single account, but I understand...
by GerryL
Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Index Admiral Shares or ETF's??
Replies: 20
Views: 1130

Re: Index Admiral Shares or ETF's??

Jack Bogle says: "There is nothing wrong with exchange traded funds ... as long as you don't trade them."
As someone else above wrote, unless you have a particular reason for needed ETFs, mutual funds seem to be the best option.
by GerryL
Sun Apr 01, 2018 5:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Customer Service with Vanguard
Replies: 50
Views: 4801

Re: Customer Service with Vanguard

I am one of those people who have been with Vanguard for more than two decades and who have recently encountered issues with their service. Key lesson for me has been: Document any action you execute on the website. If you execute an order to sell, be sure to capture a screen print that shows the de...
by GerryL
Fri Mar 30, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New car from dealer may have close to 150 miles - ok?
Replies: 66
Views: 6077

Re: New car from dealer may have close to 150 miles - ok?

One time the car I wanted was not available but, the dealer said, they had found my second-choice color at a dealership at the coast (~80 miles away). When it arrived, they said it would take a day or two to clean up to like-new condition. They gave me a showing and it was indeed covered in grime. C...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How old were you when you started spending your “principal”?
Replies: 90
Views: 8343

Re: How old were you when you started spending your “principal”?

This summer I will hit the 4th anniversary of my retirement (already?!?) and will shortly after that hit 70 and the start of SS. So far I have not had to touch my principal. (Living off 2 tiny pensions, dividends and the cash I set aside for this purpose.) But once RMDs start next year, I will be sh...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Budget? Do you keep one?
Replies: 116
Views: 7419

Re: What Budget? Do you keep one?

If you start with the 50-20-30 budget (no more than 50% of income for basic expenses, 20% to savings, 30% discretionary) and can get to the point that it is consistently coming out as 40-35-25, you don't really need to maintain a more detailed budget. It's a personal choice. (Note that "discretionar...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: USAA- limited options for investments w/ high ER's, but I still feel loyal. Help!
Replies: 43
Views: 2287

Re: USAA- limited options for investments w/ high ER's, but I still feel loyal. Help!

I get my auto insurance from USAA and nothing else. I maintain my home insurance with Farmers because I am grandfathered in on earthquake coverage and it would have cost more for less to get home insurance from USAA. USAA is a business. If they offer a better product, I consider it. Loyalty does not...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Medicare IRMAA
Replies: 19
Views: 1714

Re: Medicare IRMAA

Aren't IRMAA limits going to be adjusted for inflation again starting in 2020? https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/cfr20/418/418-1105.htm That might create a little "wiggleroom" This is very good news. I had not heard about plans to adjust the IRMAA limits. If the limits are raised it could be very helpful...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What Budget? Do you keep one?
Replies: 116
Views: 7419

Re: What Budget? Do you keep one?

As a congenital saver, I have not felt the need to actually budget. With each paycheck, savings were automatically deposited into various savings vehicle and the rest was mine to pay bills, spend ... or add to savings. But I do track spending, which I call after-the-fact budgeting. With 20+ years of...
by GerryL
Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How can I get a passport?
Replies: 64
Views: 5762

Re: How can I get a passport?

If you have not already done so, check out the State Department website. This is the link for applying for a passport in person: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/apply-renew-passport/apply-in-person.html In the step-by-step process there is a little search app that helps you find...
by GerryL
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PSA: Vanguard Drops The Ball (Cost Basis Issue)
Replies: 24
Views: 4013

Re: PSA: Vanguard Drops The Ball (Cost Basis Issue)

They said that in addition to specific ID selection, I should send them a secure message reiterating the specific ID and that would work. Of course it didn't make any difference. In the years I've been fighting this, and them admitting that it is a software problem on their part, they have NEVER be...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need for Medicare supplemental plan?
Replies: 155
Views: 8798

Re: Need for Medicare supplemental plan?

Plans C, F and F high deductible will be grandfathered to existing policy holders on 12/31/2019. No new such plans can be sold effective 1/1/2020. Plan G high deductible will be available 1/1/2020, but it is not known if it will be available earlier. Also, it is not known if current Plan G or Plan ...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 18, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Article about new Medicare cards coming soon to a mailbox near (some of) you
Replies: 9
Views: 1177

Article about new Medicare cards coming soon to a mailbox near (some of) you

Motley Fool has an informative article today about the new and improved Medicare cards -- with non-SS ID numbers -- that are due to start shipping in April: New Medicare Cards Are Coming. Here's Everything You Should Know About Them https://www.fool.com/retirement/2018/03/18/new-medicare-cards-are-c...
by GerryL
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Impact of oldest credit card being cancelled
Replies: 14
Views: 1207

Re: Impact of oldest credit card being cancelled

I am about to cancel my oldest credit card because I have switched to two no-fee cards and don't need the old fee-charging card. I cashed in my points, transferred the few auto-payments I had been paying with that card and paid off the small remaining balance before the statement closed. Next week I...
by GerryL
Sat Mar 17, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PSA: Vanguard Drops The Ball (Cost Basis Issue)
Replies: 24
Views: 4013

Re: PSA: Vanguard Drops The Ball (Cost Basis Issue)

I'm not sure if hardball or controversial questions are allowed when the Bogleheads Conference meets with current Vanguard executives -- but the accurate cost basis discussion has come up often enough that I'd really like to hear Vanguard management's perspective on it. It comes across like they do...
by GerryL
Fri Mar 16, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does everyone here earn so much?
Replies: 131
Views: 7301

Re: How does everyone here earn so much?

To the OP: Many people here are well into their careers, so their salaries (and net worth) will tend to trend a bit higher than the younger cohort. I was never a high earner, but in my last few years before retirement my income was apparently (according to an article I saw yesterday) in the upper 50...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Large life style creep that was completely worth it
Replies: 112
Views: 14526

Re: Large life style creep that was completely worth it

My LSC is to routinely spring for premium economy seats on long-haul flights. I got to fly international business on one trip last year and LOVED it, but I am not willing to pay the asking price for that treat if I can't get a serious bargain. I've got 4 lengthy round trips planned so far for the ye...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 15, 2018 10:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: PSA: Vanguard Drops The Ball (Cost Basis Issue)
Replies: 24
Views: 4013

Re: PSA: Vanguard Drops The Ball (Cost Basis Issue)

Vanguard -- or something called "the cost basis team" at Vanguard -- seems to be having a lot of trouble getting SpecID issues handled properly. I asked my rep what they are doing to address the issue as a larger problem than just what I was experiencing since many on this site have been reporting p...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 15, 2018 4:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Fund - Joint or Solo?
Replies: 12
Views: 744

Re: Donor Advised Fund - Joint or Solo?

When I set up my Fidelity DAF several years ago, I named it The Ape4Apes Charitable Fund. Most of my donations go to primate-related causes, but I guess it is curious when non-animal causes get a check from the fund. I wonder what the local food bank makes of it. Mine is a solo, but I added my nephe...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flight to Paris etc
Replies: 33
Views: 3363

Re: Flight to Paris etc

Oh, about tips: During my last visit I stayed at a very comfortable little hotel right on the eastern edge of the Latin Quarter. Close to the action (Cluny Museum, St Michel, easy walk to Ile de la Cite in one direction and Luxembourg Gardens in the other) but on a very quiet street. It is called Ho...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Flight to Paris etc
Replies: 33
Views: 3363

Re: Flight to Paris etc

When going to Paris (and I am planning another trip for September will be flying Delta to Amsterdam in May) I generally start with Delta by checking directly on their website. It's convenient for my location (Portland, OR) and because I get miles and free baggage check (altho that might not be an is...
by GerryL
Sun Mar 11, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I Take MY RMD Now Or Wait Until Later In The Year?
Replies: 20
Views: 1705

Re: Should I Take MY RMD Now Or Wait Until Later In The Year?

I turn 70.5 early next year. My plan, which I recently discussed with my Flagship rep, is to do my QCDs in the first half the year and then take the rest of the RMD in the second half of the year, when I have a better view of how much withholding is needed to cover taxes for all of my income (mostly...
by GerryL
Sat Mar 10, 2018 7:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)
Replies: 70
Views: 6786

Re: H&R Block vs TurboTax (spoiler: HRB is awful)

A few years ago I got frustrated by TT because it would not let me enter some information I had and knew on which form it belonged so I switched to H&RB. The following year I switched back to TT, but when they started playing games with the pricing and which forms you could access, I switched to H&R...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is near FI + Employment almost as good as Retirement?
Replies: 39
Views: 4435

Re: Is near FI + Employment almost as good as Retirement?

I was not even thinking about FI, I just saved and saved and planned to retire in 2015. I generally liked my job, but frequent reorganizations always made the future feel uncertain. The element that gave me peace of mind was when I became eligible for early retirement , which was about five years be...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 11:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Applying for new credit card when credit is frozen?
Replies: 17
Views: 1382

Re: Applying for new credit card when credit is frozen?

How timely that this thread has come back to life. I just finished activating the new Costco Visa card I applied for last week. My credit has been frozen for years. Here is how it went down (and this is not the first time): 1) Applied for card in person at Costco. (Could also be done on phone, I sup...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs
Replies: 21
Views: 1472

Re: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs

In my version of Vanguard's website..... First, click on your IRA. Click the "Transact" button to get drop down box for Buy/Sell/Exchange. Click on "Sell". You are asked "Where's the money coming from?" Click appropriate holding. Then you are asked Where's the money going? On the drop down box, cho...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs
Replies: 21
Views: 1472

Re: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs

(I plan to do QCDs in the 1st half of the year and the remainder of my RMD in the 2nd half of the year, with state and fed taxes withheld.) Be sure to wait until you have passed your 70 1 / 2 birthday before you make any QCDs Oh yes. I've got the date engraved on my desk. My half birthday is early ...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs
Replies: 21
Views: 1472

Re: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs

My rep said to put together a list of all my charities, with their proper names and addresses so Vanguard can verify that they qualify for QCDs, and submit the list with the amount for each charity to her by December 1. As far as I am aware, Vanguard does not verify that the charities qualify. Unle...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why (or why not) use an advisor
Replies: 42
Views: 2150

Re: Why (or why not) use an advisor

The paradox of using an advisor is once you know enough to choose a good advisor, you also know enough to manage your own accounts. :happy I would go as far as to say it's risky and irresponsible not to understand good investing principles and yet turn over your savings to someone without understan...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs
Replies: 21
Views: 1472

Vanguard’s online RMD tool updated to facilitate QCDs

Just got off the phone with my Flagship rep. I’ll be starting RMDs next year and it seemed a good time to get answers to questions about the mechanics of executing Qualified Charitable Distributions and setting up RMD tax withholding. (I plan to do QCDs in the 1st half of the year and the remainder ...
by GerryL
Thu Mar 08, 2018 2:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Boglehead Educational Opportunities
Replies: 11
Views: 993

Re: Boglehead Educational Opportunities

I am a volunteer with Financial Beginnings (specifically the Oregon branch -- FB is going national) and go into high school classrooms to present modules on personal finance. I have adapted the Fundamentals of Investing material to make it more Boglehead-ish, and I understand some of the other prese...
by GerryL
Tue Mar 06, 2018 7:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 2018 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE SOLD OUT
Replies: 109
Views: 20872

Re: 2018 BOGLEHEADS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT

Bummer. Wish it were later in the month. I'll be returning from Europe in early October. Vive la France!
-gfl
by GerryL
Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Finally get it, Step 2 - Get rid of FA at Fidelity?
Replies: 65
Views: 4634

Re: Finally get it, Step 2 - Get rid of FA at Fidelity?

Thank! The only part I don't get is do I tell the FA to move the money into the 3 funds and remove him as my adviser after that is done or the other way around. I was going to call Fidelity on Monday to have them help me out but hoping this group can give some background on that process. I'm not su...