Search found 3632 matches

by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 92
Views: 7093

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Example: 1. Suspend SS until age 70 2. Purchase a SPIA with $200K of assets: with 6% payout that provides $1000/mo. 3. Invest $90K in a 5-year TIPS or CD ladder, $18K/yr. year 1 would just be cash as it will start being spent now. Until age 70 she gets $1000/mo. nominal from the SPIA and $1500/mont...
by dodecahedron
Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is this a good resource for SS or is there something better
Replies: 9
Views: 872

Re: Is this a good resource for SS or is there something better

I have read both. Go with Mike's book. His exposition is crystal clear and really illuminates a complicated and important subject. Larry Kotlikoff has a distinguished record of scholarship as a professional economist but his expository writing goes all over the place, with a tendency to wander off i...
by dodecahedron
Sat Aug 18, 2018 4:22 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Elderly Relative Short on Money
Replies: 92
Views: 7093

Re: Elderly Relative Short on Money

Spirit Rider wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:39 am
I will just throw this out there.

It might make sense for her to suspend SS now to earn delayed retirement credits until 70.
OP indicates that she is collecting spousal benefits, so delayed retirement credits would not be applicable.
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today
Replies: 58
Views: 4360

Re: Bullish/bearish on GE? Make your case here - new lows today

I live in an area with many GE employees and an even larger number of GE retirees. GE used to be a huge employer in this area and still has significant size operations but layoffs have been a recurring headline through my time here. My late husband worked there briefly (in fact the GE job was what b...
by dodecahedron
Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:34 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Risk Averse Widow - Investing Life Insurance Proceeds
Replies: 8
Views: 618

Re: Risk Averse Widow - Investing Life Insurance Proceeds

How much is she earning from work now? I assume that the SS benefits of $1,700 are widow's benefits based on her late husband's record. She can file early for her own work record benefits at age 62 (without in any way diminishing her subsequent survivor benefits) and collect that between age 62 and ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Parents with Retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 2134

Re: Helping Parents with Retirement

SWR is around 4, and OP's parents are at 6.4 percent. I doubt there's any little thing like changing light bulbs or the like that is going to bridge that gap. You never know until you try. I am just saying that it is prematurely harsh to say "Zero out charity," when charity may be important to his ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping Parents with Retirement
Replies: 24
Views: 2134

Re: Helping Parents with Retirement

2. They can't afford to donate with that withdrawal rate. Zero them out. Charity begins at home. I think this is an overly sweeping statement. For many people, the intangible benefit they get from contributing to charities they may care passionately about is a top priority in life. We don't know wh...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 6:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Medicare Options?
Replies: 39
Views: 1485

Re: Understanding Medicare Options?

I believe that you qualify for Medicare after being on SSDI for two years. I believe the medicare choices and evaluation of those choices would be about the same whether on SSDI or age 65. That is really nuts. If you are in bad health the last thing you need is to set yourself up for an automatic O...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6257

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

"wire transfer," that may be by far the best method for businesses or other entities that have a direct electronic connection to the wire transfer process. As experienced by me, as a retail bank customer, it is an exquisitely manual process. I write and sign a paper "order" at the bank, and do not ...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6257

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

Despite my previous note about safety, I do use paper checks for some purposes. Some folks I deal with (e.g., small businesses like plumbers) expect payment on the spot and just aren't set up to do business any other way. Also wedding gifts, etc. I also use checks to pay my property taxes (in most y...
by dodecahedron
Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paper checks yes or no?
Replies: 116
Views: 6257

Re: Paper checks yes or no?

Yes, we pay most of our bills via checks. I do not like when other places have easy access to pull money via internet out of one of my accounts, I want to control that. Paper checks were always safe for us. Huh? As soon as you give someone a paper check, they have all the information needed (routin...
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance when retiring or self employed before Medicare age?
Replies: 32
Views: 4263

Re: Health insurance when retiring or self employed before Medicare age?

The ACA was a godsend, as I was able to buy a more typical policy at a lower rate. I qualified for a subsidy although it was pretty small, about $400 per year. Still, even without the subsidy, I was paying a lot less than I was in 2009, let alone 2011 after the huge increases. My wife's (5 yrears y...
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Supplement Companies
Replies: 62
Views: 4680

Re: Medicare Supplement Companies

And can you suggest a issue-aged policy? I am unaware of any. RB Post what state you are in, and we will try and help. This is a really important point. In NY, for example, there are no issue-age policies and no attained-age policies whatsoever. All Medicare Supplement policies in NY are community-...
by dodecahedron
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?
Replies: 55
Views: 4675

Re: Is solar power for your home a worthwhile investment?

I am reading that in my area it is not an obviously good investment, upstate NY. In my development no house has solar, none of the people we know have solar. In one street several miles away with less expensive houses every house has solar, though some near high trees, had probably a very good sola...
by dodecahedron
Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We need health insurance??
Replies: 137
Views: 9289

Re: Do We need health insurance??

I am very interested in an answer to OP’s question about the availability of very, very high deductible healthcare insurance, as well. Like in the range of $50K to $100K deductible. I view it more as wealth insurance than health insurance. While I don’t have the OPs level of wealth, I would conside...
by dodecahedron
Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Age in Bonds" fails almost everyone
Replies: 217
Views: 12878

Re: "Age in Bonds" fails almost everyone

jebmke wrote:
Mon Aug 06, 2018 3:48 pm
Maybe I missed it. Where do you define "wrong?"
+1

Hard to say whether a particular approach to investing "fails" someone unless you know their utility function, their resources, their needs, and their aspirations.
by dodecahedron
Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which diet soda pop do you enjoy?
Replies: 110
Views: 4470

Re: Which diet soda pop do you enjoy?

Homemade concoction called "Blueberry Mint Fizz." Recipe here . Delightful made with fresh mint picked from the garden and blueberries from nearby farm. Calories per serving: 12. No artificial anything. I am also inordinately fond of Pellegrino Water, either straight, with a wedge of lime, or as an ...
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DW job in dangerous area
Replies: 90
Views: 6769

Re: DW job in dangerous area

Cruise wrote:
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:43 pm
OP: Statistically, the greatest danger to tour wife is taking the job that requires her to drive the longest mileage.
Good point!
by dodecahedron
Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: DW job in dangerous area
Replies: 90
Views: 6769

Re: DW job in dangerous area

When I was in my mid-20s I was laid off during the Dot Com bust. I took a temporary job tutoring at a school in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn, which was not a safe neighborhood. While there were certainly times when I didn't feel totally safe, there were more times where I just felt out of place. ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to find a conscientious/competent estate attorney?
Replies: 49
Views: 3599

Re: How to find a conscientious/competent estate attorney?

Except, I don't need a POA while I'm alive unless I'm dead or incompetent... You should understand that a Power of Attorney (POA) is not valid after your death, so it is something you only need while you are alive. And incompetence can happen without warning to anyone (e.g., you could be unconsciou...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jul 31, 2018 9:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?
Replies: 160
Views: 7940

Re: Do You Purchase "Medical Evacuation Insurance" When You Travel?

A friend and her husband were traveling to China a few years ago. They were in robust health when they left home but husband contracted a mysterious and devastating disease (a virus, I believe) that Beijing doctors could not diagnose or figure out how to treat after several weeks of trying. Wife arr...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jul 31, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Educator Pricing for WSJ Print Edition
Replies: 5
Views: 492

Re: Educator Pricing for WSJ Print Edition

The library at my educational institution purchased an institutional subscription that allows anyone (faculty, staff, students) with an email address address ending in name_of_dodecahedron's_employer.edu to create a WSJ account that allows us to log in and read all content for free. You might check ...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:59 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: indoor houseplants--your advice?
Replies: 19
Views: 1398

Re: indoor houseplants--your advice?

Around here, supermarkets sell beautiful orchids that are easy to care for--just one ice cube a week keeps them alive. According to LifeHacker, the ice cube method of watering works for orchids in general.
by dodecahedron
Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Widow needs help with asset allocation
Replies: 14
Views: 1681

Re: Widow needs help with asset allocation

Read up on SS. Reading up of SS options for surviving spouses is definitely good advice. I think taking your SS at 62 will also reduce your husbands FRA amount by the same percent. No, it will not. First of all, I am sorry for your loss. The SS situation for widows and widowers is very different th...
by dodecahedron
Sat Jul 21, 2018 7:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appears that Medicare Guaranteed Issue Plan F will be replaced with G
Replies: 40
Views: 3241

Re: Appears that Medicare Guaranteed Issue Plan F will be replaced with G

Here's an example of what I meant by certain states regulate this by region As you can see by this chart, New York's BCBS insurer offers Plan G if you live in Albany. But not if you are in Buffalo. Or Syracuse. https://www.dfs.ny.gov/consumer/medplan/medsup18.pdf This is not specific to Plan G. The...
by dodecahedron
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Changing address for Social Security after a death
Replies: 10
Views: 718

Re: Changing address for Social Security after a death

If your MIL was already collecting SS and your FIL collected more, they will change her amount to be what he was collecting (more or less, depending on if either waited to collect until FRA or not). This may not be automatic. See (1) below. If she was already collecting, she was already getting tax...
by dodecahedron
Thu Jul 12, 2018 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandpa's 88 and has term life insurance
Replies: 39
Views: 3007

Re: Grandpa's 88 and has term life insurance

Hello, I will keep this short. My grandpa is 88 and has a $100k life insurance policy that he pays $900 a month for. I believe if he were to cancel the policy today, he would not get any of the $100k. What is a better financial decision, to continuing paying the $900 a month, or just cancel it beca...
by dodecahedron
Thu Jul 12, 2018 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 70 yr old about to take 1st RMD
Replies: 9
Views: 1476

Re: 70 yr old about to take 1st RMD

Generally, you should do your QCD as your first distribution, because if you take an RMD distribution prior to the QCD, the QCD cannot offset the taxes on the earlier distributions. Alan, My understanding is that you can make a QCD for any part of your RMD and get the tax benefits. For example, if ...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 11, 2018 11:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone take naps at work?
Replies: 93
Views: 5712

Re: Anyone take naps at work?

Economist Ken Arrow was legendary for falling asleep in seminars but upon waking, he would ask the speaker an incredibly perceptive question. (I personally observed this many times.) I guess when you are brilliant and kind and much beloved Nobel Laureate, you can get away with openly napping at work.
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Crock Pot Recipes
Replies: 19
Views: 1895

Re: Crock Pot Recipes

Some of my favorites (I go for simple): Chicken and Salsa 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts 1 jar of your favorite brand of salsa 1 pouch of taco seasoning Juice of 1 lime Chopped cilantro (optional) Combine all ingredients in slow cooker and cook 6-8 hours on low. I do something along these line...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:45 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand
Replies: 43
Views: 3436

Re: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand

Annuities make me nervous, because they depend on the insurance company staying in business, Or is that wrong? Is there some other guarantee? Most state insurance agencies have funds that cover insolvency up to a dollar amount. For example in Illinois you are protected for an an annuity up to $250,...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand
Replies: 43
Views: 3436

Re: Dad asked for my help on pension decision that I do not understand

Annuities make me nervous, because they depend on the insurance company staying in business, Or is that wrong? Is there some other guarantee? Employment-based annuities are different from retail annuities you purchase as an individual because federal ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) ...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jul 10, 2018 10:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Coast-to-Coast
Replies: 86
Views: 7001

Re: Walking Coast-to-Coast

As I've said many times, walking coast-to-coast is not about walking. If it is not about walking, what *is* it about? Purging demons? Meditation? Achieving a transcendent state? Processing the sensory reality of our country as experienced from its road system traveled at pedestrian pace? A spiritua...
by dodecahedron
Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:44 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Girls and investing
Replies: 115
Views: 5800

Re: Girls and investing

Agree that gender is irrelevant (except to the extent that girls' developmental timetable is a bit faster than boys'). As far as age goes, I am surprised nobody has mentioned Allan Roth's excellent book How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street. My grandmother bought me a single share of Brunswick stock...
by dodecahedron
Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BofA HSA has brought back Vanguard Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1009

Re: BofA HSA has brought back Vanguard Funds

The HSA is a separate account from the checking/savings account. The HSA has its own website. As far as the fee waiver, maybe dodecahedron could give you more details. VFANX The HSA fee waiver isn't automatic, unlike most (all) other Platinum Preferred benefits. I had to email someone at the BoA HS...
by dodecahedron
Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: BofA HSA has brought back Vanguard Funds
Replies: 7
Views: 1009

Re: BofA HSA has brought back Vanguard Funds

Dear All, I was looking at my BofA HSA account and I see that BofA added many Vanguard retirement target date funds as well as Total World Stock Fund to the list. Other Vanguard funds added as well. They also added a iShares US total Bond Aggregate Index fund (WFBIX) to their iShares S&P 500 fund (...
by dodecahedron
Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any advice health insurance options for healthy 23 year old male in US seeking political asylum?
Replies: 19
Views: 1537

Re: Any advice health insurance options for healthy 23 year old male in US seeking political asylum?

He will only need it for this year.. 2019 the requirement and fine should be going away. This is not correct. The fine is scheduled to go away in 2019, but the mandate for an individual to maintain Minimum Essential Coverage technically remains in place. In other words, there is still a mandate, bu...
by dodecahedron
Thu Jul 05, 2018 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Coast-to-Coast
Replies: 86
Views: 7001

Re: Walking Coast-to-Coast

In an interesting coincidence, a couple days before the OP posted, I ran across a book description that fascinated me and requested it via interlibrary loan--I just got notified today that it arrived. It may interest others. Grandma Gatewood's Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the App...
by dodecahedron
Thu Jul 05, 2018 11:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Walking Coast-to-Coast
Replies: 86
Views: 7001

Re: Walking Coast-to-Coast

I am in awe. I grew up in Washington DC and loved to walk long distances (sometimes up to 20 miles in a day) as a teen, in those hot, humid, steamy, summers but I picked and chose my routes carefully (routes with sidewalks and trees and pedestrian friendly with park benches and plenty of places to s...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Older Women Lifting Weights
Replies: 87
Views: 6502

Re: Older Women Lifting Weights

This thread is motivating to me. I had a brief time of inspiration some years back (when I was in my late 40s) from the book Strong Women Stay Young , written by a couple of PhDs, based on research they published in JAMA. I need to find a way to get back to a regimen along the lines suggested in the...
by dodecahedron
Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do We need health insurance??
Replies: 137
Views: 9289

Re: Do We need health insurance??

What I want is a catastrophic plan. If that exists for people over 50, I'm not aware of it. Several people on this thread recommended that OP get a catastrophic plan, at the very least. That's why I asked whether anyone of those posters knows for sure that there is such a thing. Sounds like the ans...
by dodecahedron
Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will I ever be able to itemize?
Replies: 64
Views: 4377

Re: Will I ever be able to itemize?

Be careful what you wish for. Yes, you might wind up itemizing in the future if you have catastrophic casualty losses in a federally declared disaster area or catastrophic unreimbursed medical expenses (e.g., if you or a family member develops a disabling condition that requires an extended stay in ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advocating to not index
Replies: 28
Views: 3482

Re: Advocating to not index

^^^ I actually did that - a very long time ago. As an engineer, it makes sense (equal distribution). I don't remember when I switched over to a target retirement fund. Back in the old days, when there were only two choices available, many academics (including Harry Markowitz , a founder of modern p...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Two WSJ articles on comparing index and actively managed endowments
Replies: 13
Views: 2245

Re: Two WSJ articles on comparing index and actively managed endowments

I just looked up NYS pension fund return. Their ten year return as of March 2018, the same period as Nevada, was 5.59%. NYS pension fund, the third largest public employee fund in the country with over $200B in assets, has had multiple repeated "pay to play" scandals in recent years, where corrupt s...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16903

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

What is your authority for saying that Free Fillable Forms necessarily sends your financial data to Intuit in particular? My understanding is that efiling via Free Fillable Forms sends your financial data to a rotating randomly chosen member of the Free File Alliance consortium (which could be Intu...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16903

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

Even there, you can't be 100% sure that the IRS won't outsource the processing of your paper tax return to a third party vendor. You can never be 100% sure what the IRS will do in the future. The IRS has never outsourced the processing of paper tax returns in the past. Returns are keyed in by IRS e...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16903

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

The only way to file a 1040 directly with the IRS is to mail it in on paper. Even there, you can't be 100% sure that the IRS won't outsource the processing of your paper tax return to a third party vendor. For a number of years, we paper-filed our tax returns, both federal and state, in part becaus...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16903

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

Free File Fillable Forms is a stripped-down version of TurboTax. It is not operated by the federal government. When you use FFFF, you are sending your financial data to Intuit. What is your authority for saying that Free Fillable Forms necessarily sends your financial data to Intuit in particular? ...
by dodecahedron
Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made
Replies: 156
Views: 16903

Re: IRS publishes draft 2018 1040 - Huge changes made

Free File Fillable Forms is a stripped-down version of TurboTax. It is not operated by the federal government. When you use FFFF, you are sending your financial data to Intuit. What is your authority for saying that Free Fillable Forms necessarily sends your financial data to Intuit in particular? ...
by dodecahedron
Sat Jun 30, 2018 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to document a verbal conversation for future legal reasons.
Replies: 21
Views: 3026

Re: How to document a verbal conversation for future legal reasons.

Send an email to the person(s) with whom you spoke summarizing your understanding of what was said and by whom at the conversation, invite any corrections to the record, and cc a few trusted associates?