Search found 620 matches

by JohnFiscal
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 21695

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

Mine is around 28%, curious about other bogleheads. Care to rephrase this so it is somehow "actionable"? Maybe something like, "What percentage of your net worth is your home equity, and how can it best be used in retirement without moving?" (Hint: HELOC or Reverse Mortgage, but who knows what answ...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 21695

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

I think there was a recent thread with same question, maybe a few months ago.

My answer then, and now, is that I just retired at my FRA and my % for home equity is about 1/6 or 16.67%
by JohnFiscal
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Monitor Set up
Replies: 52
Views: 2830

Re: Dual Monitor Set up

At my last company they gave us the choice between dual 27”, or a single 34” curved ultra wide monitor with 3440x1440 resolution. Within a couple of months, nearly everyone who had originally chosen the dual monitors had switched to the 34. After I left the company, I missed the 34” monitor enough ...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Nov 27, 2018 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dual Monitor Set up
Replies: 52
Views: 2830

Re: Dual Monitor Set up

Until I retired I had two monitors. Very handy. Some of our engineers used 3 and even 4 monitors. At least one of our programmer/engineers used at least one of his monitors in "portrait" mode (it was tilted 90° from what is normally expected)...said it was very handy for writing code. I myself am no...
by JohnFiscal
Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Replacing TPMS stem/kit when replacing tires?
Replies: 16
Views: 1276

Re: Replacing TPMS stem/kit when replacing tires?

I've gone through several (4.25) sets of tires on my 2011 Volvo S60 sedan. Not had the TPMS replaced. At one point, a year or so ago I thought that one was acting up and investigated them for pricing, etc, but it turned out that a slow leak in one tire was triggering.
by JohnFiscal
Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Replies: 11
Views: 1581

Re: San Juan, Puerto Rico

I always stay at El Convento - or at least stop there for a drink - beautiful hotel - was an old convent. https://www.elconvento.com/ Have fun! I'll second the vote for El Convento. It's in "Old" San Juan, where all the history is. I myself prefer this to the beach resorts that are clustered near t...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?
Replies: 72
Views: 2794

Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

Hi, OP again. Thanks to all for your responses. All this talk of various HP calculators makes me wonder if anyone still has an HP-45? IIRC it came out around the time I graduated from high school, in 1973. It cost about $400 and I really lusted in my heart for one. But I didn't have that kind of mo...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?
Replies: 72
Views: 2794

Re: How long have you had, or did you have, your HP-12C calculator?

I just retired in June but I was using my HP-15c daily in my engineering work. I purchased it new in 1982 when they first came out. Granted, once Excel spreadsheets came along I used those in most cases rather than the hand calculators (I have several other more advanced HPs). But the venerable old ...
by JohnFiscal
Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:30 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted
Replies: 29
Views: 1912

Re: 20th Anniversary vacation ideas wanted

Flying from LAX you are well-situated to fly to Asian countries...you'll have direct flights to larger cities, the travel time won't be too bad (versus my typical 24-26 hours/3 legs from Florida to Manila), and the cost consequently reasonable. You could do Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo, etc. Or to st...
by JohnFiscal
Sun Nov 04, 2018 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Collateralized Loan Obligations
Replies: 11
Views: 850

Re: Collateralized Loan Obligations

I remember reading skeptical articles in Barron's about CDOs, et al, back in the 1980's. I'm glad I didn't buy into any of those. They've come back to haunt the economy several times.

I think that's where/when I learned the word "tranche".
by JohnFiscal
Fri Nov 02, 2018 1:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Engineering school
Replies: 66
Views: 4899

Re: Engineering school

University of Illinois - Chicago
University of Illinois - Urbana
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT)
Northwestern University
by JohnFiscal
Thu Nov 01, 2018 9:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: People with older car, share your unusual repairs
Replies: 84
Views: 5306

Re: People with older car, share your unusual repairs

guy I worked with years ago. Had bought the car new. After many years living in Chicago area he had been transferred to the south. Car was old and had a lot of miles on it. And rust. Once he was working on replacing the brakes pads and the metal brake lines fractured at a connection (bleeder valve)....
by JohnFiscal
Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Giving up on GoogleSpreadsheets. Need alternative.
Replies: 29
Views: 3929

Re: Giving up on GoogleSpreadsheets. Need alternative.

I find Google Sheets too cumbersome and cranky for work that is too complex. I have set up a number of Google workbooks for several family members to track their spending, sheets of various function and complexity, and this works well as they are located in two countries outside the US. But for my o...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Oct 24, 2018 9:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medicare billing ... online account info?
Replies: 0
Views: 243

Medicare billing ... online account info?

ETA: Nope. Per the phone technician at Medicare there is no on-line account information available. Only the paper statements or call Medicare. New to Medicare. Is there an "account" online where I can view my Medicare billing? I have a 'myMedicare' account but I see nothing there about billing. ETA...
by JohnFiscal
Wed Oct 10, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google's Titan Key for 2fa
Replies: 23
Views: 2214

Re: Google's Titan Key for 2fa

As the OP has found, it is up to the individual site using the 2FA (eg: Google, Vanguard, Facebook, etc) as to whether or not they will require the key to be activated for every log-in. This is not a function of the Google key or the Yubi keys. Editing to add: It's a good idea to have 2 keys, or alt...
by JohnFiscal
Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: No Touch ID on Vanguard's mobile app for Android
Replies: 11
Views: 1147

Re: No Touch ID on Vanguard's mobile app for Android

I've been using Yubi keys (2 different types) to log into Vanguard from my laptop. Works great.

I see that Yubi has contactless "near field" keys for Android phones (and new Yubi Key 5 is supposed to work contactless with iPhones). Perhaps this is a solution?
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What tools do you use to track your finances?
Replies: 50
Views: 3960

Re: What tools do you use to track your finances?

Excel. One spreadsheet in which I enter all of our account balances on the first of every month, and a different spreadsheet in which I enter all of our expenses. Which reminds me that I haven't updated that since the last week of September so that's going to be a big pain in the neck. I'm intrigue...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Please Try Out Test Posts Here
Replies: 245
Views: 206119

Re: Please Try Out Test Posts Here

Yes, it's a test. Thank you.
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What tools do you use to track your finances?
Replies: 50
Views: 3960

Re: What tools do you use to track your finances?

I suppose it may be the "engineer" in me but I feel obsessive-compulsive about tracking all transactions. I do this for financial transactions (ie: keep ledgers for all bank accounts, credit cards, investments) but this doesn't seem to be enough. I would like to have some bar code-type stickers that...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What tools do you use to track your finances?
Replies: 50
Views: 3960

Re: What tools do you use to track your finances?

I created my own secure website (https) that holds all my investments, updates the NAV daily, holds my current AA, and calculates my current deviation from my “ideal” AA. I used to have it on my personal computer (Java), but moving it on-line made it available from anywhere. wow! Do you wanna start...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What tools do you use to track your finances?
Replies: 50
Views: 3960

Re: What tools do you use to track your finances?

I use my own Excel workbooks that I have developed since around 1992. Yes, it's a lot of work but it gives me the best results. I've used Quicken and MS Money. Preferred my own spreadsheets, which are pretty powerful at this point in time. I wonder though about what to do for my wife when I'm gone. ...
by JohnFiscal
Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades
Replies: 75
Views: 9278

Re: 20 countries where 200K in retirement savings will last you decades

# 10 on the list is the Philippines. Having just returned from a 5 week stay there I was wondering if it would be on this list. The Phils seems to be popular among certain expats, and I thought it might be representative of the countries in such a list. Let me tell you, life there is HARD . Whether ...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Home Part of NW [Net Worth]
Replies: 98
Views: 6890

Re: Why is Home Part of NW [Net Worth]

I've never known what "net worth" is supposed to be good for, except for bragging. And quasi-bragging, letting financial institutions know some imprecise measure of how rich you are, and whether they can consider you "qualified" to buy into hedge funds and such. well, for me, it's an indicator of w...
by JohnFiscal
Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:42 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why is Home Part of NW [Net Worth]
Replies: 98
Views: 6890

Re: Why is Home Part of NW

I agree that home equity is definitely an asset and part of your net worth. I think most of us here would say that home equity should NOT be part of your "asset allocation". Agree completely. I'll add that I have always tried to minimize my expenditure on housing...renting or buying. For instance, ...
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: 702

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: 2554

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: 1578

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: 12941

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: 12941

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: 7492

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: 12941

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: 2287

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: 22144

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: 3170

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: 15190

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: 4056

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: 3386

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: 2732

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: 361

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: 500

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: 245
Views: 206119

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: 763

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: 245
Views: 206119

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: 3386

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: 3386

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: 932

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: 932

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: 1705

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: 3788

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: 1993

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...