Search found 596 matches

by JohnFiscal
Fri Jul 13, 2018 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting both social security and spousal benefit?
Replies: 5
Views: 674

Re: Getting both social security and spousal benefit?

no comments on your specific question at the moment. But I want to say that in my view the best and most authoritative interpretations of the Social Security rules are from Professor Larry Kotlikoff (Boston University). He had a very popular show on PBS television, regularly shows up on other shows,...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Jun 27, 2018 8:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Who's John Bogle?"
Replies: 17
Views: 2494

Re: "Who's John Bogle?"

Nowadays you might get the same reaction about Peter Lynch

(Not to imply any parallel to JB other than prominence)
by JohnFiscal
Wed Jun 27, 2018 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vintage brands
Replies: 15
Views: 1523

Re: Vintage brands

a bit tangential, but I recall going to Abercrombie and Fitch back in the 1960's to get outfitted for hiking and real Man's-Man sort of outdoor equipment and clothing. It was sort of a throwback to the 1910's-1920's. Very stuff over-stuffed chair men's club sort of place in Chicago. I was very surpr...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12552

Re: When did you start flying business class?

I just do not understand the pricing. I thought I would check Philippine Airlines site for something else (I have flown them and would be reluctant to fly again) and they had a special on business class fares from the US to several Asian cities. But it doesn't make sense... a - LA to Manila is $3,0...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12552

Re: When did you start flying business class?

I just do not understand the pricing. I thought I would check Philippine Airlines site for something else (I have flown them and would be reluctant to fly again) and they had a special on business class fares from the US to several Asian cities. But it doesn't make sense... a - LA to Manila is $3,09...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees
Replies: 95
Views: 7262

Re: CNBC: Social Security buying power has slipped by a third for retirees

My gut reaction is that this slippage applies to many non-retirees as well.
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When did you start flying business class?
Replies: 155
Views: 12552

Re: When did you start flying business class?

My wife and I have flown from the US to Manila, Philippines 5 times since 2005 (sixth trip is coming up in August); departing from Houston once and thereafter from Florida gulf coast. This is a 24 hour trip, or longer depending on flights. The first two trips were standard coach. I found this to be ...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Jun 25, 2018 7:37 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to spend it all
Replies: 14
Views: 2231

Re: How to spend it all

That is pretty much my plan, to spend it all. There's no one particular to leave it to. The real trick is that you don't know how long your funds need to last. Could be 2 weeks. Could be until your late 90's. I myself have used the ORP planner quite heavily for planning. As I am retiring on Friday o...
by JohnFiscal
Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you retire on $2M?
Replies: 173
Views: 21642

Re: Can you retire on $2M?

I’m hoping $2M is enough. That’s all I’ve got and this Friday is my last work day. Retiring at 66 plus a month. Wife is 10 years younger and does not work, so the planning horizon is long with her age.
by JohnFiscal
Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why is Mr. Bogle so against investing internationally?
Replies: 24
Views: 3072

Re: Why is Mr. Bogle so against investing internationally?

I read Bogle's first book when it was first published, in the mid-1990's, in which he made the same remark about International. A point he made then (as I recall) is that large US-based corporations themselves had exposure to global markets, while minimizing currency and accounting/tax risks. I imag...
by JohnFiscal
Sun May 27, 2018 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Renting vs Owning Your Home
Replies: 166
Views: 14565

Re: Renting vs Owning Your Home

Interesting thread and viewpoints. I do own my own home...at the urging of DW. Prior to getting married I rented for some years after having owned a condo and then a townhouse. The renting provided more flexibility I believed. But in any case, when I got married we bought soon thereafter. I do great...
by JohnFiscal
Sun May 27, 2018 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google WiFi and Verizon FIOS
Replies: 10
Views: 2523

Re: Google WiFi and Verizon FIOS

This might be an informative read. It's a very recent review (this month) of wi-fi systems. The Google system didn't make the cut.

https://thewirecutter.com/reviews/best- ... king-kits/

(as I recall, this site, wirecutter, is now owned by the New York Times)
by JohnFiscal
Wed May 23, 2018 9:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3249

Re: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?

Which airline did you use to book tickets with delta miles from the US to Manila? Fid you have to call delta or use the website? I booked Delta directly, on their website. This is what I always do. I typically don't book through Travelocity, Kayak, etc, for air tickets. Traveling to Canada from US ...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 22, 2018 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a Woman's Tag Heuer On-line
Replies: 41
Views: 2664

Re: Buying a Woman's Tag Heuer On-line

No. But I have considered such gray market items, both at Amazon and at sites like jomashop. I always decided to go with the full fare item. And these include some fairly expensive watches, including a ladies Tissot of around $1,000. That's just me.
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 22, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medigap & ACA Policies: "Estim Annual Cost"?
Replies: 1
Views: 339

Medigap & ACA Policies: "Estim Annual Cost"?

I'm shopping for both Medigap for myself and ACA for my wife. When I look the related Medicare and ACA websites, as well as when I look at insurance providers' sites, both systems seem to discuss or indicate "Estimated Annual Cost". I am thinking that this is maximum annual out of pocket expense, an...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 22, 2018 2:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iORP: plan for future of the software (?)
Replies: 3
Views: 466

iORP: plan for future of the software (?)

I know there are users of iORP on Bogleheads. How many, I don't know. My impression is relatively few as there are relatively few related threads. I have found ORP to be very valuable. And I fear, it's almost irreplaceable. ORP users may know, it is supported by a single developer (a really smart, r...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 22, 2018 10:52 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Please Try Out Test Posts Here
Replies: 235
Views: 197525

Re: Please Try Out Test Posts Here

oh, my word! Look at that building in the background. It's like a stack of pizza boxes! There actually are some tall building constructed so that the each floor is sort of "rotated" from that below it. But this building seems a bit random about it. Interesting (to an engineer). Here's an article ab...
by JohnFiscal
Fri May 18, 2018 10:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Locking a tote bag?
Replies: 11
Views: 705

Re: Locking a tote bag?

One "trick" photographers use is instead of using an expensive looking camera bag is to carry your gear in a diaper bag. People are much less likely to be interested in that. Great trick! I also like the Pacsafe items. We have several. Another trick, though not useful for daily use, is to use a nyl...
by JohnFiscal
Wed May 16, 2018 10:14 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Please Try Out Test Posts Here
Replies: 235
Views: 197525

Re: Please Try Out Test Posts Here

oh, my word! Look at that building in the background. It's like a stack of pizza boxes! There actually are some tall building constructed so that the each floor is sort of "rotated" from that below it. But this building seems a bit random about it. Interesting (to an engineer). Text before the image...
by JohnFiscal
Wed May 16, 2018 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3249

Re: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?

I use my miles to buy tickets for companions and pay cash for my own, so I can qualify for higher tiers of status. If you rarely fly this will not be important to you. Some airlines have restrictions on award tickets, like you cannot buy up to first class or whatever. Probably not an issue. Thank y...
by JohnFiscal
Wed May 16, 2018 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?
Replies: 34
Views: 3249

any disadvantages to using Delta Skymiles for fare?

Planning a trip to Manila in August. I can save $1,400 (total) by using 140,000 Delta Skymiles. I'm wondering if there is any potential downside to using the miles for this trip. It will be wife and I to visit her parents. We've made this trip probably 4 times before on the same route. Delta is alwa...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 15, 2018 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical billing and negotiated rates ?
Replies: 8
Views: 895

Re: Medical billing and negotiated rates ?

Yes, if there were a negotiated rate for the primary care visit, it would apply to you. This is one of the benefits of dental plans. Even if there is a low annual maximum benefit and you exceed it, you still get the negotiated rates. Of course, this is true only if the doctor/dentist is in the netw...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 15, 2018 9:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical billing and negotiated rates ?
Replies: 8
Views: 895

Medical billing and negotiated rates ?

I'm comparing two Blue Cross ACA policies for my wife as I commence on Medicare. One of the parameters listed in the policy descriptions is: " Primary care visit to treat an injury or illness " "Plan A" provides high deductible and there is no benefit for for this 'event' (as BC calls it) until the ...
by JohnFiscal
Mon May 14, 2018 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considerations in selecting a hearing aid
Replies: 21
Views: 1418

Re: Considerations in selecting a hearing aid

Bought aids from this web-based store for my FIL about 2-3 years ago: https://www.audicus.com/ (ETA2: Audicus is based in New York City. And my experience with customer service has always been great) FIL lives in a far foreign country and what was available to him there was pretty cruddy, not even a...
by JohnFiscal
Fri May 11, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you do to lower our oversized emergency fund?
Replies: 35
Views: 3647

Re: What would you do to lower our oversized emergency fund?

fwiw: I haven't had or used an "emergency fund" in a very long long time, if ever (back when I might have needed it I didn't have the cash for one). But I have and do keep a lot of "cash" relatively readily available for what I call "Reserves". I keep a number of electronic "envelopes" for budgeting...
by JohnFiscal
Thu May 10, 2018 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: RMDS, Taxes, Social Security timing
Replies: 16
Views: 1915

Re: RMDS, Taxes, Social Security timing

I always recommend using the (free) web based ORP program (www.i-orp.com). It takes into account SS, RMDs, Taxes etc, to find the optimal amount of money available for spending each year, and optimizes from which accounts to draw from. It is very sophisticated and it will do exactly what you are loo...
by JohnFiscal
Wed May 09, 2018 6:37 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying out car lease loan
Replies: 11
Views: 1284

Re: Buying out car lease loan

Having your name as co-owner on the title may be the more important issue.
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 9:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare enrollment-Part B only
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Re: Medicare enrollment-Part B only

Why are you signing up for Medicare Part B if you are still working & have employer healthcare? Will you cancel your employer health insurance? Have you compared your employer health insurance cost vs Medicare Part B plus Medicare Advantage along with Medicare Part D (prescriptions)? There are Medi...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 3:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare enrollment-Part B only
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Re: Medicare enrollment-Part B only

The mystery of that postcard was not solved. I am positive it was from the CMS and not some sort of phishing spam. I don't know what form you received, but my spouse is nearing Medicare age and almost daily we get mailings from insurance companies, not Medicare. And we're more the "face to face" ty...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Vehicle Tires and Dry Rot
Replies: 20
Views: 2384

Re: Vehicle Tires and Dry Rot

Yes, this happened to me as I was on my way out for a trip. 1 tire was obviously bad to sight. 2 others were obviously bad when you looked at the back side of them (not evident otherwise). Replaced all 4 and learned a new lesson.
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 2:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare enrollment-Part B only
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Re: Medicare enrollment-Part B only

The mystery of that postcard was not solved. I am positive it was from the CMS and not some sort of phishing spam. In future I should remember to scan/photocopy such things before sending them back. FYI, scanning documents to pdf electronic files and filing away is awesome for record keeping.
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 2:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare enrollment-Part B only
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Re: Medicare enrollment-Part B only

"that wasn't so bad!" An update. Lady from the SS Admin called back (when you are on the automated thing when you call you're presented with the wait time and the opportunity to have them call you back in about the same time). It started a bit on a downward slope as she seemed a bit the curt bureauc...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting my (financial) Excel spreadsheets to MS Access DB?
Replies: 17
Views: 1410

Re: Converting my (financial) Excel spreadsheets to MS Access DB?

... Could be a fun task. I do database design for a living but I'd never go through the trouble to design this to manage finances. Quicken or Mint(easier IMHO) will do most of what you describe automatically with almost no user input at all. Just link the accounts, set up a budget and go. Thanks fo...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 1:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare enrollment-Part B only
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Re: Medicare enrollment-Part B only

Call the SSA and ask. Signing up for Part B was a confusing thing for me, too. I signed up for Part A as it seemed to be a no-brainer (it's free!) but I put off signing up for Part B so I could do some research. When shortly after I tried to sign up for Part B via the web page it wouldn't let me do...
by JohnFiscal
Tue May 08, 2018 1:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare enrollment-Part B only
Replies: 10
Views: 784

Medicare enrollment-Part B only

I signed up for Medicare Part A last year when I was 65. I'm still working and covered under employer's plan. But now I want to sign up for Part B. I got a form postcard from Medicare in the mail a few months back asking if I "wanted to register for Medicare" (I have to assume that it referred to Pa...
by JohnFiscal
Mon May 07, 2018 9:41 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What career for smartest kid in the class?
Replies: 132
Views: 9213

Re: What career for smartest kid in the class?

I was a late bloomer, very intelligent but not a good student. Eventually I got my BS and MS in engineering when I was 31. Fortunately, I got off that train before spending time/debt on a PhD program. For a long time I was trying to prove, to myself and others, how smart I was. Not to be a know-it-a...
by JohnFiscal
Mon May 07, 2018 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Converting my (financial) Excel spreadsheets to MS Access DB?
Replies: 17
Views: 1410

Re: Converting my (financial) Excel spreadsheets to MS Access DB?

I’ve read all replies with great interest as I have thought about the same sort of project myself for a number of years (8 or 10 years or so), my time and energy being the constraints. I started using Excel in my engineering work around 1992 and, for me, a good way to learn how to use the program wa...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?
Replies: 89
Views: 7476

Re: How would you handle a request for money from a niece?

How about a discussion with your sibling, the niece's parent? Surely she/he should be on board with this. And hopefully put the ki-bosh on the asking.
by JohnFiscal
Mon Apr 30, 2018 2:24 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Help With Attachments
Replies: 4
Views: 908

Re: Help With Attachments

See: [url=https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Posting_images_in_the_Bogleheads_forum] For heaven's sake, after all this time I now understand (pretty much) the meaning of the Boglehead's logo. That "star" symbol I assumed to be some sort of nautical-themed graphic reflecting Vanguard. But the circular ...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: separately managed account -- worthwhile?
Replies: 20
Views: 1931

Re: separately managed account -- worthwhile?

Back in 1998 via a job layoff, one of the benefits I was presented with was the "opportunity" to invest some of the 401K proceeds into SMAs through a particular firm, which offered perhaps 50 different SMAs offered by different advisory firms. I thought this was great and even took cash from some of...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Apr 30, 2018 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How do you fund spending in retirement
Replies: 26
Views: 3561

Re: How do you fund spending in retirement

One of the personal finance tools I learned that I needed, and then developed, many years ago was to be able to project cash flow. I have long used Microsoft Excel as my tool of choice for keeping track of finances, first beginning with a check register around 1992. As part of my planning I realized...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford it: Retiring
Replies: 9
Views: 1347

Re: Can I afford it: Retiring

I figure my budget for the 10 years until wife will be 65 for Medicare is $86K per year, ... Do you have social security or a pension to support some of this amount? I didn't see any mention of these possible sources of income in your post. My thought was not to get bogged down in details of income...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can I afford it: Retiring
Replies: 9
Views: 1347

Can I afford it: Retiring

In the spirit of an article seen at MarketWatch over the weekend about Suze Orman I want to ask "Can I afford it? my retirement" I will be 66 in a month. My wife is 55 and does not work (there is no plan for her to do so). In a nutshell, I have $2 Mil (mostly IRA) plus home is paid for. I figure my ...
by JohnFiscal
Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home reroofing
Replies: 4
Views: 1129

Re: Home reroofing

As an engineer and a homeowner, I do not like tile roofs. I have one, south of Tampa. House is 20 years old and I had to have the roof replaced about 4 years ago. An expense I was not anticipating at that point in time. $35,000. Took my breath away. I can't really speak much to the size of the roof,...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:48 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Question on individual HDHP and HSA
Replies: 2
Views: 281

Question on individual HDHP and HSA

I will be retiring soon and will be on Medicare. My wife is younger (54) and not eligible for Medicare. Thus we need to provide some sort of private health insurance for her (she does not work). Is it possible, and legal (under ACA), to have a private HDHP for her? Would this be worthwhile to do (ve...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have 2 cars keep both?
Replies: 8
Views: 597

Re: Have 2 cars keep both?

personally, I would sell one. Not knowing anything of your situation other than what you described. Having two vehicles (assuming you are single) would be a pain. twice the costs for insurance and registration. one would sit idle and then the battery and tires go down, so it'd be a nuisance when you...
by JohnFiscal
Fri Apr 20, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Undecided students and STEM majors
Replies: 51
Views: 4733

Re: Undecided students and STEM majors

There is an accrediting agency for engineering curriculums, the ABET. Engineering students do not want to go to a non-ABET school (they may not realize they don't want to, but they don't). In order to be accredited, all undergraduate engineering schools must meet the same requirements on core curri...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC laptops
Replies: 94
Views: 5803

Re: PC laptops

How do I get a google account? To create an account: Go to www.gmail.com. Click Create account. The signup form will appear. ... Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step. Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ... Your acco...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PC laptops
Replies: 94
Views: 5803

Re: PC laptops

How do I get a google account? To create an account: Go to www.gmail.com. Click Create account. The signup form will appear. ... Review Google's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, click the check box, then click Next step. Here, you'll have an opportunity to set up recovery options. ... Your acco...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:52 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Things have changed, so what do I do?
Replies: 14
Views: 2306

Re: Things have changed, so what do I do?

1. I retired 7 years ago--so I presumably have missed the 'sequence of returns risk' 2. I downsized last year--so my expenses are much lower than when I first retired and I ended up with an appreciable amount from my home sale 3. I'm getting a bit older so the need for extravagant vacations or expe...