Search found 1729 matches

by GerryL
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?
Replies: 25
Views: 1903

Re: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?

I address these comments to those of us taking RMDs, who are over age 70.5, and have a desire to make charitable contributions whether small or large. Consider the tax benefits under the new federal tax laws that are in effect for tax year 2018. Many of us at this age no longer itemize deductions a...
by GerryL
Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?
Replies: 25
Views: 1903

Re: Comfortably Retired and charity giving?

Four years into retirement and I am in a similar situation as to having more than I need to meet my needs and my wants. I have never calculated as far as a percentage of my income for charitable giving, but when I start taking RMDs next year I intend to put around 1/3 toward QCDs. If RMDs start gett...
by GerryL
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: When to Pick Mutual Fund over ETF?
Replies: 16
Views: 1576

Re: WSJ: When to Pick Mutual Fund over ETF?

GAAP wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:47 pm
GerryL wrote:
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:39 pm
As Jack Bogle says: There's nothing wrong with exchange-traded funds … as long as you don't trade them.
That's equally true for mutual funds...
Yes. I believe that was his point. He is not a fan of a product that seems to promote trading.
by GerryL
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Biggest Threats to Financial Well-Being
Replies: 99
Views: 8792

Re: Biggest Threats to Financial Well-Being

Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound and six, result misery. Not living below your means and not investing or greed. +1 Not having at least some sort of budget so you 1) know where your money is ...
by GerryL
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: WSJ: When to Pick Mutual Fund over ETF?
Replies: 16
Views: 1576

Re: WSJ: When to Pick Mutual Fund over ETF?

As Jack Bogle says: There's nothing wrong with exchange-traded funds … as long as you don't trade them.
by GerryL
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 112
Views: 5463

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

I finally stopped carrying my checkbook with me just a couple of years ago, but I intend to keep it handy for those few occasions when a check is the most convenient (for both me and recipient) way to pay. Only a few times a year, but twice in the past month or so.
by GerryL
Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Does it matter which mutual fund goes into my Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA?
Replies: 8
Views: 380

Re: Does it matter which mutual fund goes into my Roth IRA vs. Traditional IRA?

Another consideration is how long before you intend to tap the Roth IRA. If you don't intend to use the $$ in your Roth until long after you start taking RMDs -- if ever -- you can accept more volatility. The VG CFP I worked with recently recommended filling up my Roth space with the bulk of my Tota...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 07, 2018 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: SPIA for an older retired relative
Replies: 11
Views: 953

Re: SPIA for an older retired relative

Uniquehorn, Two bits of advice to add on: 1) She should shop around as not all SPIAs will be equal. 2) She should develop a budget that includes a line item for those "travel and shopping" expenses, not just the necessities. That way she can know where she stands and can enjoy those things that are ...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 07, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Medicare cards. Get yours?
Replies: 25
Views: 2279

Re: New SS cards. Get yours?

Now... to get this number into the medical and insurance systems. That should be lots of "fun"! Problem is, I'm *sure* that the old SS number will remain right there. This new, separate Medicare number is probably only useful for the youngsters who are just entering the system and won't need to giv...
by GerryL
Tue Aug 07, 2018 1:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Medicare cards. Get yours?
Replies: 25
Views: 2279

Re: New SS cards. Get yours?

My new Medicare card came early in the second round. But I had already gone out to the Medicare site and printed off a copy of the new card, an idea I got from someone on this forum.
by GerryL
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I close a newly opened card that I no longer use?
Replies: 18
Views: 895

Re: Should I close a newly opened card that I no longer use?

As long as there is no annual fee, you can file it away and either not use it or only use it a few times a year. But be sure to keep track of the account -- and open and read all mail regarding the account.
by GerryL
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Experience? - Vanguard Customer Service When Transferring Accounts from Large Brokerage Firm
Replies: 19
Views: 992

Re: Any Experience? - Vanguard Customer Service When Transferring Accounts from Large Brokerage Firm

As with any significant transaction: Keep notes of who you speak with, dates, what they tell you. Repeat to rep what you understand (what you wrote down) to make sure you are both in agreement as to what was said. You likely will not have any problems, but the notes will help just in case something ...
by GerryL
Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I use my Donor Advised Fund to give extra cash to sponsor my kids travel sports team?
Replies: 75
Views: 4765

Re: Can I use my Donor Advised Fund to give extra cash to sponsor my kids travel sports team?

Sometimes the wording of the gift can make a difference. "I hope this donation can be applied to the travel funds of Team X" indicates where you would like the money to go, but the receiving org is under no obligation to comply. A call to the DAF to get clarity is a good idea.
by GerryL
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: How did you become a Boglehead?
Replies: 53
Views: 3384

Re: How did you become a Boglehead?

I never had any painful investing lessons. I started my investing life by taking to heart the mantra (learned in a Consumer Reports article) about looking for low expense ratios for my IRA. But I did not know anything about indexing. Later, when I had a job with a 401k, I implemented what I thought ...
by GerryL
Thu Aug 02, 2018 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Charitable giving strategy
Replies: 43
Views: 2198

Re: Charitable giving strategy

The largest portion of my giving is to several places that I also support with my time as a volunteer. I give smaller amounts (usually toward the end of the year) to a few other causes I have settled on. I have enough causes on my list now, that I feel very comfortable declining any and all of the o...
by GerryL
Thu Aug 02, 2018 5:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?
Replies: 46
Views: 5183

Re: Question to retirees - money or work/life balance?

Check out Jack Bogle's little book titled "Enough."
Figure out what Enough is for you and then don't stress out about always trying to get More.

My weird story: I was fortunate to be happy with Enough and now, in retirement, find I have More than I ever expected or will need.
by GerryL
Tue Jul 31, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to prepare for "the talk"
Replies: 64
Views: 4902

Re: How to prepare for "the talk"

I'd start with acknowledging their role in helping you get a good start in life and then asking them how they would like you to be involved with helping them deal with personal finance and related issues in the coming years. What are their expectations? It's just the start of a conversation that is ...
by GerryL
Sun Jul 29, 2018 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?
Replies: 61
Views: 7582

Re: Soc Sec benefit estimates: Anyone get a nasty surprise when filing?

I'm not so much concerned about how much the estimate is off. In fact, someone told me that the estimate when I applied should be pretty close. What I am concerned about is how long after I submit my application I should expect to hear from them. I applied online when I got a note from SS Admin remi...
by GerryL
Sun Jul 29, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees: how much cash?
Replies: 61
Views: 6260

Re: Retirees: how much cash?

Cash is one part of my portfolio that I don't think of in terms of % of portfolio, tho' I have that stat. Cash I think of in terms of cash flow and time. People think of cash in different ways. To me cash is immediately spendable without selling and no risk of market loss. That is primarily money m...
by GerryL
Sat Jul 28, 2018 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Airbnb - cleaning fee, service fee, occupancy fee....???
Replies: 81
Views: 6740

Re: Airbnb - cleaning fee, service fee, occupancy fee....???

I just did my first Airbnb stay at a little town in Central Oregon. Could have stayed at the local hostel with my friends more cheaply, but I liked having so much space, and the lady who lived in the house was wonderful. I discovered from talking to her that the nightly charge on a listing may chang...
by GerryL
Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Someone is using my cellphone number
Replies: 21
Views: 2867

Re: Someone is using my cellphone number

Years ago, before cell phones were as common as they are now, I frequently got calls on my landline for someone named Gerardo. Usually I ignored them, but after a while would sometimes pick up the call (as I was screening it and heard the name "Gerardo") to explain they had the wrong number and shou...
by GerryL
Wed Jul 11, 2018 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?
Replies: 57
Views: 3424

Re: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?

With low-maintenance being a top priority, I went with large (12"x24") porcelain tiles on the walls and urethane grout.

-gfl
by GerryL
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?
Replies: 57
Views: 3424

Re: Masterbath Remodel - Tub or No Tub ?

A couple of years ago I had my acrylic shower/tub unit (original when house was new) taken out and replaced with a porcelain tiled, walk-in shower. My master bath is very tiny, not very masterful at all. No room to expand the footprint of the original tub unit, but the extra few internal inches now ...
by GerryL
Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 28/F looking for some financial advice
Replies: 22
Views: 2513

Re: 28/F looking for some financial advice

I was thinking of holding on to the individual stocks and from this point on, only purchase Vanguard funds. The reason I didn’t want to sell them was because of taxes. Would you say that’s not a good reason? I also recently read the millionaire next door, where one of the repeated themes was to not...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand Roth vs Traditional IRA
Replies: 34
Views: 1533

Re: Help me understand Roth vs Traditional IRA

So to me it doesn't look like investment growth is a reason to choose between Roth and traditional. Have I missed something? Here is a non-math example: I had $22k in a tIRA early in my career and invested it in a stock mutual fund. After 22 years, without any further contributions, it had grown to...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help! Late Saver Approaching Retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 1520

Re: Help! Late Saver Approaching Retirement

Think about working longer. Even another year or two can make a significant difference, especially if you max out your 401k and Roth contributions. In other words, increase your investments while reducing the number of years your investments will need to support you.
by GerryL
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help me understand Roth vs Traditional IRA
Replies: 34
Views: 1533

Re: Help me understand Roth vs Traditional IRA

Hello, I'm trying to understand something about how tax brackets and traditional IRAs. For the sake of illustration, let me use a highly artificial example: You make $50K which puts you in the 22% tax bracket. Let's ignore inflation or growth; you just have cash pegged to inflation. Suppose you put...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 25, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Q on appealling Medicare surcharge
Replies: 6
Views: 825

Re: Q on appealling Medicare surcharge

Here is an example from my experience: - 2014 - retired in July, so only worked 1/2 year but got severance package that was as much as I would have made if I had continued working until well into the following year. Applied for Medicare to begin immediately. - Late in 2014 was assessed an IRMAA prem...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Podcasts on money management and investing basics
Replies: 22
Views: 1359

Re: Podcasts on money management and investing basics

I often listen to Better Off with Jill Schlesinger. This is her new podcast that is sponsored by the Betterment robo-advisor. Promos for the sponsor, of course, but not pushy. I was going to mention the new one I just started listening to because he recently did a series on singletons (since so much...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 23, 2018 1:50 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to help my teen (14) grow their savings faster?
Replies: 18
Views: 1709

Re: How to help my teen (14) grow their savings faster?

To the OP: At this stage the way she can grow her savings faster is to continue to add to those savings, regularly and diligently. You will find that this forum is not about growing money quickly . It is about the growing money over the long haul. As others have mentioned, the intended use of the mo...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most vs. Least satisfying home impovements
Replies: 35
Views: 3622

Re: Most vs. Least satisfying home impovements

Once I got past the practical stuff, like roof, windows (Love the upgrade!) and furnace, I looked at improvements to make the space more enjoyable. The first of those was to have my relatively small backyard ripped out and mostly (~3/4) replaced with hardscaping -- stone pavers. My little backyard i...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 21, 2018 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?
Replies: 58
Views: 5166

Re: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?

I have about 50% capital gains in taxable, with the largest chunk in my stock holding even though that (now) makes up less than half of my taxable account. My plan for the stock is to gradually use the old shares with the lowest cost basis to fund my DAF and to sell off the newer shares with the hig...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversify within Roth account?
Replies: 14
Views: 1015

Re: Diversify within Roth account?

GerryL - have you decided whether you will take their advice? Yes, I do plan to fill the Roth with the International Stock fund. I don't think, however, that I will implement their other suggestion around bonds. They recommend adding two funds -- short-term and intermediate-term bonds -- to my curr...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Diversify within Roth account?
Replies: 14
Views: 1015

Re: Diversify within Roth account?

Interesting timing on this question. I just had Vanguard re-run my financial plan and one recommendation that came back was to consolidate my Total International Stock fund as much as possible in my Roth. (I posted a question about this the other day.) If I take their advice, my Roth would be 100% i...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to "raise my rate" (Ally bank CD)
Replies: 19
Views: 2649

Re: When to "raise my rate" (Ally bank CD)

Thanks for all the help. I guess it comes down to what the chances are that the rate will be 2.49% in a year. If higher, I should wait. If lower, I should use my option. Anybody got a crystal ball? No crystal ball here, but when faced with the same decision on several occasions I went ahead and rai...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 17, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to make friends in new location?
Replies: 96
Views: 8513

Re: how to make friends in new location?

Volunteering? It can take a while to establish friendships, but in the meantime the individual is contributing to society.
I have moved around a lot and have generally joined clubs and volunteer activities to start meeting people with common interests. Some efforts pan out. Some don't.
by GerryL
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to calculate "fun money" per year?
Replies: 37
Views: 3546

Re: How to calculate "fun money" per year?

I'm a believer in the 50-20-30 plan, which I present to high school students in a Budgeting module. In this plan: - no more than 50% of your income goes to necessities (housing, transportation, basic food, etc) - at least 20% goes to savings -the remaining 30% is for everything else you want -- now ...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBIAX)
Replies: 22
Views: 2195

Re: Vanguard Balanced Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBIAX)

My taxable account has been in VBIAX for many years, since long before I understood anything about bonds being best held in retirement accounts. I've only ever added to the account. Have never taken anything out. By this time there would be significant tax consequences to selling the shares to get i...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?
Replies: 169
Views: 14917

Re: How much (green) cash at home for emergency ?

My mom was succumbing to Alzheimer's when we moved her into assisted living. As I cleared out her little apartment, I kept uncovering stashes of cash. Not an enormous amount, maybe about $1k total, but given her limited income that was a lot. Most of it was in the little coat closet by the front doo...
by GerryL
Sun Jun 17, 2018 12:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?
Replies: 72
Views: 4518

Re: Tracking spending before retirement useful for estimating retirement expenses?

Tracking expenses prior to retirement was essential for knowing that I really did have enough to stop getting a paycheck. Of course, the pre-retirement expenses only served as a baseline that I could work with to create a plan for actual retirement.
by GerryL
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?
Replies: 57
Views: 4789

Re: African Safari: Worth it or Hype?

I have many friends who have travelled to Africa, some multiple times, largely for the animal experience. Most are long-time zoo volunteers or employees. All have recommended the experience. I have long debated going and think that perhaps by now I don't have the stamina for that kind of travel. Esp...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 16, 2018 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your hobbies?
Replies: 59
Views: 5502

Re: What are your hobbies?

My newest hobbies seem to be about education You may be interested in these resources: 1. Coursera course "Learning how to learn" https://www.coursera.org/learn/learning-how-to-learn 2. Scott Young has written some excellent articles about learning. His web site has a lot of information; this page ...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Living Abroad - Who's done it?
Replies: 52
Views: 5010

Re: Living Abroad - Who's done it?

I spent most of my youth pretty footloose. Worked as an au pair in Paris a couple of time for almost two years. Five years in Air Force ending up in Germany and transitioning to another au pair post near Munich. Then to Hawaii to finish college and from there a couple of years living in Japan. Didn'...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your hobbies?
Replies: 59
Views: 5502

Re: What are your hobbies?

Since retiring about 4 years ago I have been able to get involved with the local fossil club. I'm not as diligent about formal learning as many of the other members, but I am gradually picking up an education in paleontology and geology -- more by osmosis than studying. Trips with my new friends to ...
by GerryL
Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion advice - charitable beneficiaries
Replies: 6
Views: 543

Re: Roth conversion advice - charitable beneficiaries

I anticipated 4 low-income years between retirement and starting SS at 70 and started doing Roth conversions. Then midway through year #2 I had the same realization that you had: why should I pay taxes on money that would in all likelihood end up going to charity? (And the conversions were not going...
by GerryL
Thu Jun 14, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: cooling upstairs floor without central AC
Replies: 26
Views: 2333

Re: cooling upstairs floor without central AC

This summer I want to look into a more cost effective way to cool the second floor of my home which turns into a furnace. My current plan is to purchase 2 basic box fans that blow cool air inside from windows positioned in the back of the house and a floor fan pointed to a window in the front of th...
by GerryL
Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using donor advised fund to diversify stock with large capital gains
Replies: 38
Views: 2412

Re: Using donor advised fund to diversify stock with large capital gains

This is what I am doing with my individual stock holdings (inherited and purchased from company plan). The inherited shares fed my DAF for the past few years, and I am now reducing the company share holdings, starting with the shares with the lowest cost basis. I may sell and reinvest some high cost...
by GerryL
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on applying for SS benefits
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Re: Question on applying for SS benefits

Thanks for the info. Sounds like it might be a training problem with those who process the applications. Not surprising. So, when applying online, there is some place on the application to make it clear you want maximum DRC? There are several places on the application -- including at the end -- whe...
by GerryL
Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Avoiding Estimated Tax Penalty - Safe Haven
Replies: 7
Views: 957

Re: Avoiding Estimated Tax Penalty - Safe Haven

For an IRA withdrawal you can specify zero withholding, you can also specify anything from 10% to 100%. You just can't specify 1% to 9% withholding. Also you can take as many distributions as you like so if you want an exact dollar amount, make a withdrawal of that amount and withhold 100% and then...
by GerryL
Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question on applying for SS benefits
Replies: 16
Views: 1610

Re: Question on applying for SS benefits

I assume you waited until you were 70 to maximize your monthly benefit. Hope you specified that you did not want retroactive benefits since SSA will often issue 6mo retro benefits which will reduce the monthly benefits to age 69.5. Is that what you meant by “with issues “? Yup. As a "for example." ...