Search found 350 matches

by visualguy
Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retire in my early 40s? Crazy or actually doable?
Replies: 71
Views: 8830

Re: Retire in my early 40s? Crazy or actually doable?

For people who are mostly happy and fulfilled by their work, it's hard to recommend retiring early. For people who are not, I get it, but I would still try to find some other work that they like better before deciding to retire early. Early retirement definitely has its issues.
by visualguy
Sun Dec 10, 2017 2:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?
Replies: 44
Views: 6128

Re: For those retired at least 10 years, what about the money?

I have similar feeling about cars. Although my friends have been talking about luxury cars they have these days when we are together to play cards, I am the only one who does not even own a car any more. I had my days with luxury cars, but I am now enjoying taking bus to work. Luxury/sport cars are...
by visualguy
Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Volatility of Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund
Replies: 14
Views: 1426

Re: Volatility of Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt Fund

Bond funds are a mystery to me - I don't fully understand how they work, and how safe/unsafe they are. They don't return much these days, yet there's this volatility and cloud of uncertainty over this supposedly "safe" investment. I don't like that I may need to wait over a decade (for intermediate ...
by visualguy
Wed Dec 06, 2017 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

Or raise SS tax rate and cap to keep it solvent. In your planning, you have to weigh the likelihood of raising SS taxes vs cutting benefits. I think the latter is more likely than the former, so I plan with that in mind. I think it will be hard to raise SS taxes without addressing the issue of givi...
by visualguy
Wed Dec 06, 2017 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

I wouldn't plan for an SS cut equally across the board. They're more likely to cut more for people with other means, and less for people without other means, so I would assume a cut larger than 25% for typical Bogleheads...
by visualguy
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

As far as looking to other countries as possible solutions, I wish i had more confidence that we in the US could do the same. Those countries also faced healthcare crisis a long time ago, and seemed to have come up with somewhat workable solutions. So far, the US, faced with similar issues, have de...
by visualguy
Tue Dec 05, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

"It's not easily resolved. You either have to cut benefits or raise revenues (i.e. raise or shift taxes). It is a folly to assume that the US will go with raising revenues rather than cutting benefits." I would recommend a but of more research - setting back the eligibility date 1-2 years, raising ...
by visualguy
Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing for long term care needs
Replies: 6
Views: 781

Re: Investing for long term care needs

We're planning a combination of home equity and part of our retirement savings for long-term care purposes. Instead of 30x expected annual expenses, we're shooting for 35X (invested in the same way), and we'll use the difference for the first person who needs to go to nursing home (or needs home car...
by visualguy
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

I assume I won't be getting SS. And if I were able to claim it I would do it ASAP. I don't think it will stick around forever. It will stick around in some form, but it is very unlikely to be what it is today. I also assume no SS because I expect means testing to become part of the program. Other c...
by visualguy
Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

randomizer wrote:
Tue Dec 05, 2017 11:12 am
I assume I won't be getting SS. And if I were able to claim it I would do it ASAP. I don't think it will stick around forever.
It will stick around in some form, but it is very unlikely to be what it is today. I also assume no SS because I expect means testing to become part of the program.
by visualguy
Mon Dec 04, 2017 11:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

Doing any elaborate math or planning concerning social security when you are 12+ years away from it is an exercise in futility in my opinion... It's almost certain that the rules will change by then, so why bother. To be conservative/safe, I assume that the plan will be means tested, and that I wil...
by visualguy
Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why not take Social Security at 62
Replies: 334
Views: 26153

Re: Why not take Social Security at 62

Doing any elaborate math or planning concerning social security when you are 12+ years away from it is an exercise in futility in my opinion... It's almost certain that the rules will change by then, so why bother. To be conservative/safe, I assume that the plan will be means tested, and that I will...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWIUX recent share price decline [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]
Replies: 16
Views: 1522

Re: VWIUX recent share price decline [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]

Forget about politics and what "might be." There have been talks about changing tax-exempt status for years and years. There are other fundamental things to be aware of: You should always be aware of the municipal:treasury ratio. This is a very rough marker of how munis are priced to treasuries, co...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWIUX recent share price decline [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]
Replies: 16
Views: 1522

Re: VWIUX recent share price decline [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]

Many, perhaps most, people want the money that is not in stocks to be in something a lot safer, as in less volatile. Bonds meet this description. Real estate does not. Direct real estate has even a higher risk level due to the lack of diversification. Your advice is directly opposite to what I woul...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: VWIUX recent share price decline [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]
Replies: 16
Views: 1522

Re: VWIUX recent share price decline [Vanguard Intermediate-Term Tax-Exempt]

As mentioned above, this can't be discussed here due to forum policies about pending legislation, but you can look up what is going on with munis in other places. Hint: the market is expecting pressure on the main revenue source for entities that issue munis (state and local taxes), plus other reper...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think
Replies: 137
Views: 12015

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think

When rates rise, principle value falls, but the additional interest more than makes up for the temporary dip after a bit. It's not "a bit", it's many years. My understanding is that the number of years is 2 X d - 1 where d is the duration, so for something like BND, it can take 11 years to earn the...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think
Replies: 137
Views: 12015

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think

When rates rise, principle value falls, but the additional interest more than makes up for the temporary dip after a bit. It's not "a bit", it's many years. My understanding is that the number of years is 2 X d - 1 where d is the duration, so for something like BND, it can take 11 years to earn the...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think
Replies: 137
Views: 12015

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think

The expection was 1977-1980 where you had 4 years of practically zero nominal returns at a time when inflation was well above average, and the CPI from 77-80 was probably around 50%. So I am guessing in real terms 10 year T bills lost 30-40% from 1977-1980. http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/infl...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think
Replies: 137
Views: 12015

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think

The expection was 1977-1980 where you had 4 years of practically zero nominal returns at a time when inflation was well above average, and the CPI from 77-80 was probably around 50%. So I am guessing in real terms 10 year T bills lost 30-40% from 1977-1980. http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/infl...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?
Replies: 98
Views: 7390

Re: Is there any reason to invest in real estate?

Not sure why people think it's so onerous to own rentals... Most of my family/friends/colleagues own rentals, and it's no burden or distraction from their main activities. My parents are in their 70s/80s and they own a couple of rentals without issues. Sure, if you have many units, it can become mor...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 30, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think
Replies: 137
Views: 12015

Re: Bonds Are Riskier Than People Think

I still don't see a reason to invest in bond funds when CDs and/or good stable value funds are available. There's some volatility and uncertainty with bond funds which you don't get compensated for in comparison to CDs. In tax-deferred, I would just go with brokered CD ladders and stable value funds...
by visualguy
Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is holding bonds now dangerous?
Replies: 155
Views: 14067

Re: Is holding bonds now dangerous?

CD's seem less risky right now by just about any measure. You can get 2.5% for 5-years with FDIC protection. Right, which is the same as the yield on the total bond market index fund. In taxable accounts, I don't see a good reason to hold much in taxable bond funds, but tax-exempt funds may still m...
by visualguy
Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The valet smashed my Tesla into a brick wall!
Replies: 108
Views: 12995

Re: The valet smashed my Tesla into a brick wall!

I would just get another new car now, and sell the damaged one once it's "repaired" (which is likely to take a long time with Tesla). For people who have such considerable resources (like the OP), why stress over any of this? Life is truly too short to sweat this kind of loss when you don't need to ...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BMW to Chevy Bolt?
Replies: 30
Views: 2443

Re: BMW to Chevy Bolt?

Don't forget to try the seats on the Bolt first. Many find them to be uncomfortable. The seats are the weakest aspect of this car, and killed it for me when I was considering it.
by visualguy
Thu Nov 09, 2017 2:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The fear of retirement, black swan, and math to dissuade the fear.
Replies: 136
Views: 13301

Re: The fear of retirement, black swan, and math to dissuade the fear.

The only conclusion is to save more than 25X expenses because of two reasons. One is that 4% may very well not be safe-enough, and the other is that expenses may change radically. I'm more worried about the expenses. Say I save enough for a 3.2% withdrawal rate which I find to be safe-enough. I stil...
by visualguy
Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The fear of retirement, black swan, and math to dissuade the fear.
Replies: 136
Views: 13301

Re: The fear of retirement, black swan, and math to dissuade the fear.

But lets look at your "Catastrophic case" 50% loss, 2% gains for 8 year, and then 10%? That isn't really that bad. Look up japan were we are off by ~33% 28 years later. If that oft-referenced Japanese investor had bought a world market portfolio they would be doing fine. If they had followed the vo...
by visualguy
Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Disability Insurance
Replies: 7
Views: 425

Re: Disability Insurance

One advantage of being employed by many large company/organization employers is the commonly provided disability insurance. Disability can be a tricky thing where it affects your performance at work and costs you your job before you even have a chance to get on disability, or you may just happen to...
by visualguy
Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why make more money?
Replies: 134
Views: 13248

Re: Why make more money?

As long as your job provides satisfaction, a sense of achievement, and a connection to people, why retire and lose all that? Money is only one aspect of a career.

Also, my observation has been that retirement from fulfilling careers tends to accelerate mental and physical decline.
by visualguy
Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 84
Views: 5603

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

Who (and how) is paying for the added costs if leasing is financially beneficial? It's not that simple... Manufacturers (such as BMW) subsidize the residual on the lease in many cases, thus making the terms attractive to the customer. There is something in it for the manufacturers - they don't do i...
by visualguy
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 84
Views: 5603

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

Some have stated concerns that we will transition to electric vehicles over the next ten years or so, and therefore the safest move, financially, is to lease, and not get stuck with an internal combustion engine. So I wondered what that transition period might look like. One thing that occurred to ...
by visualguy
Wed Nov 01, 2017 1:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 84
Views: 5603

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

BMW in particular never ceases to amaze me in their inability to figure out how to keep a valve cover gasket from leaking oil everywhere. They don't really care that much about what happens beyond the warranty+CPO warranty period, which is 5 years. They never claim that their cars are very durable....
by visualguy
Wed Nov 01, 2017 11:55 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 320
Views: 23636

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

The key card is supposed to be a fall-back. It doesn't work like a typical keyless entry system. You have to put it on the b-pillar to open the door, and then in a specific place in the car to start the car. A proper keyless entry system like on other cars is far superior and easier to use.
by visualguy
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3
Replies: 320
Views: 23636

Re: To take or not to take delivery of Tesla 3

The lack of controls other than the touch screen kills the Model 3 for me. Too difficult and distracting to use. Tesla went way too extreme with this touch screen. It's crazy when you look at the details of how you would actually need to use this car... Requiring a cell phone to open the doors, usin...
by visualguy
Tue Oct 31, 2017 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?
Replies: 84
Views: 5603

Re: New Car: Ever make sense to lease?

For cars with good lease deals in states with high sales taxes (like CA), you actually need to hold the car for 6+ years to see a financial benefit from buying and then trading in. Even at 6 years, it's kind of a wash unless you manage to sell the car privately for significantly more than trade-in v...
by visualguy
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: International Returns this month
Replies: 19
Views: 1777

Re: International Returns this month

The long-term record of ex-US index investment shows significant underperformance, so I stay away from it, but if you decided you like it for some reason, then not sure why you should change your mind based on last month. It's the disappointing performance over many decades that should alarm you, no...
by visualguy
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks go up, bonds fall. Stock fall, bonds also fall.
Replies: 51
Views: 5497

Re: Stocks go up, bonds fall. Stock fall, bonds also fall.

Stocks are up today and bonds (VBTLX) fall. Stocks were falling yesterday and bonds also fall. Has everyone holding bond funds simply made peace with the fact that bonds are practically useless until there is a 25%+ drop in the market? I can't convince myself to keep holding bonds. Do you have a lo...
by visualguy
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks go up, bonds fall. Stock fall, bonds also fall.
Replies: 51
Views: 5497

Re: Stocks go up, bonds fall. Stock fall, bonds also fall.

Holding a bond fund such as VBTLX doesn't make sense to me either. A ladder of 5-year CDs pays the same interest without the volatility. Not sure under what scenario holding the bond fund would be better, and it can be worse, so I don't bother with that. How am I going to buy the 350k of CDs I woul...
by visualguy
Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Stocks go up, bonds fall. Stock fall, bonds also fall.
Replies: 51
Views: 5497

Re: Stocks go up, bonds fall. Stock fall, bonds also fall.

Holding a bond fund such as VBTLX doesn't make sense to me either. A ladder of 5-year CDs pays the same interest without the volatility. Not sure under what scenario holding the bond fund would be better, and it can be worse, so I don't bother with that.
by visualguy
Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Concern re bond funds and current interest rate trend
Replies: 22
Views: 1620

Re: Concern re bond funds and current interest rate trend

Your stock allocation is a separate issue from the investment choice for your non-stock holdings. I share your concern about bond funds, so I don't invest in them. There are alternatives... Money market accounts, CDs, and stable value funds. I don't like volatility in the "safe" part of my portfolio...
by visualguy
Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 5761

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

Good choice - the BMW 5-series multi-contour seats are definitely among the best in terms of comfort. Not that great in terms of holding you well when taking corners fast, but comfort is more important in any car that isn't a track car, and this is not a track car. I don't like the aggressive bolste...
by visualguy
Mon Oct 16, 2017 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 5761

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

Good seats are expensive, so cost cutting is common there. The least expensive sedan that I know with comfortable seats is the Acura TLX.
by visualguy
Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive
Replies: 74
Views: 7746

Re: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive

In my view, the biggest international development is the rise of China as a major world power. The effects of that can be profound. Even just from an economy size perspective, China is expected to surpass the US by 2030. By 2050, the US is expected to be #3 behind China and India. It will most likel...
by visualguy
Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help me understand what happens with the new law and ACA subsidies
Replies: 80
Views: 6211

Re: Help me understand what happen with the new law and ACA subsidies

The exact effects are hard to predict. I don't think anyone here can tell how the insurance companies will react exactly. If the subsidies are cut, the insurance companies will have to compensate for this somehow. The only actionable thing I can think of is to plan to allocate even more money for he...
by visualguy
Fri Oct 13, 2017 1:39 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive
Replies: 74
Views: 7746

Re: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive

I'll never understand this kind of argument. You don't use that logic for individual stocks or sectors, so why countries? We don't say 'well healthcare has done well and utilities poorly over the last 50 or 100 years so you should tilt toward one over the other.' Makes no sense for a passive invest...
by visualguy
Thu Oct 12, 2017 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive
Replies: 74
Views: 7746

Re: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive

Ex-US indexing hasn't worked well in the past - under-performance over long periods of time as mentioned above in this thread. It's possible to argue about the reasons and whether the next century will be like the last century, but the reality so far is what it is, and it's a huge red flag. So shou...
by visualguy
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Best Career Advice for those over "50"
Replies: 60
Views: 6756

Re: Best Career Advice for those over "50"

Some may say "keep a low profile", hogwash, make yourself known to colleagues and management alike - some call that networking, others call it being a "team player". Sometimes you need to be careful with this... Getting on the radar screen with management can sometimes lead to extra scrutiny and be...
by visualguy
Thu Oct 12, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive
Replies: 74
Views: 7746

Re: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive

Always perplexed by how many Bogleheads insist on not picking single stocks to simply take what the market will bear. Yet have no issue holding a US only or US dominant portfolio that's so far out of line with global market proportions. Mr. Bogle himself (or even Warren Buffet for that matter) like...
by visualguy
Thu Oct 12, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 2018 Honda Accord
Replies: 54
Views: 5761

Re: 2018 Honda Accord

The Accord beats the Camry with infotainment: Apple Carplay and Android Auto. Probably no need to get Navi. Yes, but I wish Honda didn't omit the bird's view parking cameras. I use that pretty much every time I park - very useful. I don't know why they included pretty much everything you can think ...
by visualguy
Thu Oct 12, 2017 1:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives
Replies: 106
Views: 20171

Re: Growing old without kids or younger caring relatives

Truly depressing to think about this, and very easy to be in denial. If I remember correctly, about 15% of people never have children in the US, so this is a fairly common problem.
by visualguy
Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive
Replies: 74
Views: 7746

Re: Larry Swedroe: Non-US Valuations Look Attractive

The index is in theory the average, it is the total stock market. So if the average active fund beats the index, you are providing more than the entire stock-markets growth, in growth. Fees aside, the average active fund should match the indexes (but of course, there are winners and losers). With p...