Search found 1739 matches

by BigJohn
Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone use TIPS mutual funds for 100% of their LMP allocation?
Replies: 22
Views: 1143

Re: Does anyone use TIPS mutual funds for 100% of their LMP allocation?

My LMP is split 50/50 between Vanguard’s IT TIPS fund and IT Bond Index Fund. No real science as to why I picked 50/50, it’s just a middle ground because neither end felt right.
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!
Replies: 23
Views: 1204

Re: Have you ever used a Power of Attorney for Health Care or Property (Financial) ? Tell me about it!

Used a health care POA so my sister-in-law could go to the Ob/Gyn with my wife who had dementia (SIL was a named person in POA for just this reason). She took a copy to the Dr office, they looked at it, said OK, documented in her file and she never had to show again. I also used for POST form. Used ...
by BigJohn
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions and NIIT
Replies: 17
Views: 961

Re: Roth conversions and NIIT

I will search the forum to read about the benefits of having both Roth and RMDs when the time comes. The issue isn't Roths and RMDs it having a diverse source of income that you can use based on circumstances. Two quick examples. If you get into years with very high medical expenses/deductions (eg ...
by BigJohn
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions and NIIT
Replies: 17
Views: 961

Re: Roth conversions and NIIT

As the saying goes, predictions are difficult, especially about the future. Roth conversions are a great tool but there are just too many unknowns to make any predictions with much certainty. Based on your post I’d ask the following two questions about your plan. It sounds like your trying to get to...
by BigJohn
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: When Did You Ease Up On Saving Aggressively?
Replies: 170
Views: 12748

Re: When Did You Ease Up On Saving Aggressively?

I’d say we “locked” our lifestyle on hard spending (house note, cars, vacations, etc) in our mid 30’s and then saved essentially all of my raises from that point forward. We did allow a bit of creep in softer life style spending (nicer dinners out, more contributions to charity, etc) from that point...
by BigJohn
Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 317
Views: 24317

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

"However, there are also a fair number who have choices," If you check the statistics - there is a very low % who have this choice. smitcat, I've seen stats on claiming age but never on how many had enough other resources to wait. I suspect part of the issue is defining "enough" as the comfort leve...
by BigJohn
Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 317
Views: 24317

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

The vast majority start before 70 - not even 5% wait till 70. The reason is they need the income....simple. What would definitely be best for people to do is not always possible due to their history and decisions made prior to claiming. Saving at a decent rate allows choices. No doubt there are man...
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 15, 2019 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Credit Freeze
Replies: 18
Views: 1232

Re: Credit Freeze

My credit has been frozen for probably 5 years. Look up https://krebsonsecurity.com/ . There are 4 credit rating agencies (Innovis is the 4th) and the already mentioned ChexSystems. I have frozen all of five of them. Unfreezing them is less painful than before since it was mandated that it be free ...
by BigJohn
Mon Aug 12, 2019 9:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 317
Views: 24317

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

FWIW, I’m 63, widowed and planning to defer until 70 for the guaranteed 8% per year increase in longevity insurance payment. You may already be doing this, but for others.... The recommended strategy (including Mike of Open Social Security) for those who have been widowed is to : At age 60, you cou...
by BigJohn
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 317
Views: 24317

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

2. The possibility that such benefits reductions could apply retroactively to those already receiving benefits. So that filing earlier in order to avoid such benefit reductions didn't really help. Question.... I thought the current law if unchanged would cut both existing and future benefits by the...
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: First 20% of bonds in long-term Treasuries
Replies: 110
Views: 6820

Re: First 20% of bonds in long-term Treasuries

I remember those days quite well. We have not had substantial and ever increasing inflation in this country for 37 years. Due to a long multi-decade period of decreasing inflation backtesting results on LT Treasuries look great relative to other bond options--greater diversification to equity, grea...
by BigJohn
Wed Aug 07, 2019 6:27 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 41
Views: 3895

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

retiredjg wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 5:59 am
You can do Roth conversions if both are on the old platform though.
Thanks, never had this circumstance so wasn't aware that on-line conversions was an option in this case.
by BigJohn
Wed Aug 07, 2019 4:48 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 41
Views: 3895

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

A few people mentioned they transited some of their accounts. I also have a taxable account, and a couple of IRA with Vanguard. So it's not a all or nothing transition? And one could, say, transit an IRA to the brokerage side while keeping the rest in the mutual fund side? Does that require two set...
by BigJohn
Tue Aug 06, 2019 5:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage account transition
Replies: 41
Views: 3895

Re: Vanguard brokerage account transition

What they can do is [Tony Soprano voice] make you an offer that you can't refuse. For example, they can start taking away some of the features that you rely on. They can start charging fees for mutual fund accounts. I think they could even wind down the operation, meaning that you would be forced t...
by BigJohn
Sat Aug 03, 2019 10:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Services
Replies: 174
Views: 18552

Re: Trust Services

Thanks afan
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Services
Replies: 174
Views: 18552

Re: Trust Services

They'll need a co-trustee if they ever want distributions other than health, maintenance, support and education (and it's generally not a good idea to let them withdraw for those purposes even though it's permissible since there's a risk of exposure to creditors and Medicaid). Not sure I understand...
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 02, 2019 3:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trust Services
Replies: 174
Views: 18552

Re: Trust Services

This is certainly a very tough decision with lots of potentially messy outcomes. Rather then use a corporate trustee, I decided to let my kids be their own trustee (all are healthy, happy and fully employed). That may not work out well but I’ll be dead and won’t know/care. The assets will all be at ...
by BigJohn
Fri Aug 02, 2019 1:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report
Replies: 59
Views: 4965

Re: Durable Power of Attorney: Implementation Report

I received the same advice from my estate attorney about the difficulty of using a springing POA. I didn’t want to leave my sister/kids with the task of trying to prove the spring had sprung so I just went with a durable POA. Since it can be used anytime, you obviously have to name people you really...
by BigJohn
Thu Aug 01, 2019 6:04 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Frustrations - No Free Trades/Matching Offers
Replies: 75
Views: 3779

Re: Vanguard Frustrations - No Free Trades/Matching Offers

Your argument about this making business sense for VG seems based on a premise that VG should be willing to do this in order to keep your business. Right now you have about $500K there with a promise of another $500K in the future. Are you aware the they have $5.3t of assets under management? I know...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 31, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70
Replies: 317
Views: 24317

Re: Social Security -- Take it at 62, 67 or 70

You're asking an optimization question about an insurance program. Social Security's official name is the Old Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Program (OASDI). It is designed to help prevent seniors from outliving their income and keeping them out of poverty. It is not an investment. It is ...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 24, 2019 11:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Update with Part 2: What would it take for you, the non-landlord, passive-investor, to become a landlord?
Replies: 57
Views: 4264

Re: What would it take for you, the non-landlord, passive-investor, to become a landlord?

On the other hand, if they simply have a property management company rent it out for the rest of their lives they can give it to their heirs at a stepped-up cost basis. My two cents... I’ve never done it but reading discussions on this forum leads me to believe you need to remove the word “simply”....
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Update with Part 2: What would it take for you, the non-landlord, passive-investor, to become a landlord?
Replies: 57
Views: 4264

Re: What would it take for you, the non-landlord, passive-investor, to become a landlord?

On the other hand, if they simply have a property management company rent it out for the rest of their lives they can give it to their heirs at a stepped-up cost basis. My two cents... I’ve never done it but reading discussions on this forum leads me to believe you need to remove the word “simply”....
by BigJohn
Tue Jul 23, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Has DFA failed to innovate and keep up
Replies: 59
Views: 4834

Re: Has DFA failed to innovate and keep up

The key is to just stay with the program no matter what I guess. Why is that the key? That sentiment is sometimes expressed, but I think rarely really thought through nor subjected to appropriate analysis or criticism. I would assert that it's in fact a good thing to reconsider "the program" from t...
by BigJohn
Mon Jul 22, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 401K Rollover to VG IRA upon Retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 793

Re: 401K Rollover to VG IRA upon Retirement

This is how my plan admin handled rollovers as well and I did it with a similar amount. As requested, the check came made out to VG FBO “me” in a plain envelop via USPS (not registered or certified). VG was aware of my plans and had sent me a FedEx envelop so it could be tracked getting to them. The...
by BigJohn
Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mathematical model of Roth conversion [error] (does not suggest more is better)
Replies: 50
Views: 4743

Re: Mathematical model of Roth conversion [error] (does not suggest more is better)

It’s great that you were open enough to look for, find and post your error. It is a great example of how you need to be careful when creating/using models, especially when they give you extreme or unexpected answers. However, input error is just one source of uncertainty. Even if executed perfectly,...
by BigJohn
Sun Jul 14, 2019 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ORP and RPM recommend large mega Roth's from IRA
Replies: 44
Views: 2649

Re: ORP and RPM recommend large mega Roth's from IRA

Thanks!!! Very good observations. One difference from your case is that i do not make it close to a 50/50 IRA/ Roth. If I did I would be pretty happy with that. I agree that I will probably be taking a middle ground course. Converting up to top of 32% band is easy decision for me. But that is not c...
by BigJohn
Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: ORP and RPM recommend large mega Roth's from IRA
Replies: 44
Views: 2649

Re: ORP and RPM recommend large mega Roth's from IRA

I'm in a similar situation so here's my two cents. As good as those tools might be they are still models with holes (eg no NIIT) and assumptions (eg future returns, longevity, future tax laws, etc). As a result, I personally would not make those big conversions up front. My conclusion after working ...
by BigJohn
Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why factor investing isn't working
Replies: 484
Views: 22198

Re: Why factor investing isn't working

Two books come to mind when I think of factor investing: Thinking in bets by Annie Duke - essentially, humans have a tendency for "resulting". Ideally, one should make a probabilistic bet of the outcome, and make the best decision based on the facts available. So, if one believes factors are real (...
by BigJohn
Wed Jul 10, 2019 4:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Bond Side (sub) Allocations. @@ What Do You Have? Why? Why Not?
Replies: 36
Views: 2069

Re: Bond Side (sub) Allocations. @@ What Do You Have? Why? Why Not?

Some context, age 63 and retired almost 5 years now. Feel I’ve won the game and decided to stop playing by going to a 35/65 stock/bond allocation when I retired (I had been about 60/40). Decisions on bonds was actually much tougher than stocks. I realized years ago that I just don’t believe in the p...
by BigJohn
Tue Jul 02, 2019 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard transition to brokerage account
Replies: 12
Views: 1458

Re: Vanguard transition to brokerage account

All dividends must be either reinvested or sent to the settlement account - you can't direct them to a different fund For dividends of VG mutual funds you also have the option of sending directly to your linked bank account. Unfortunately, this is not an option for individual stocks/bonds (not sure...
by BigJohn
Tue Jul 02, 2019 12:45 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard transition to brokerage account
Replies: 12
Views: 1458

Re: Vanguard transition to brokerage account

I converted several years ago and it took just a few days. I don’t do much trading so don’t know about that, I’d ask VG if it’s an important issue to you. Holdings are moved in kind but you will see Fed MM added in the settlement account. Statements come monthly. Three things to check after the chan...
by BigJohn
Sun Jun 30, 2019 8:13 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Simplicity (Three Fund) vs. Return (Slightly more complex):
Replies: 45
Views: 3380

Re: Simplicity (Three Fund) vs. Return (Slightly more complex):

Here’s the questions I asked myself... 1) Do I really need (not want) the potentially higher return? For me the answer was “no”. If history is any guide, the market return of my portfolio should be more than enough to fund a comfortable retirement. In fact, since higher return also means higher risk...
by BigJohn
Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Semi-Early Retirees: 401K to Roth IRA Conversions (Should I or Shouldn't I?)
Replies: 29
Views: 3676

Re: Semi-Early Retirees: 401K to Roth IRA Conversions (Should I or Shouldn't I?)

In a similar situation and coming up on my fourth year of conversions. I started off with spreadsheets and models convinced I would find the right answer. While that was helpful to understand the choices, ultimately I found that the accuracy of the tools was overwhelmed by the assumptions required. ...
by BigJohn
Sat Jun 22, 2019 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best TLH partner for Total Stock Market (VTSAX)?
Replies: 16
Views: 1229

Re: Best TLH partner for Total Stock Market (VTSAX)?

I use the S&P 500 fund.
by BigJohn
Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:01 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Access to joint accounts at spouse’s death
Replies: 31
Views: 2644

Re: Access to joint accounts at spouse’s death

Based on my experience, credit cards only have one owner and the spouse is an authorized user. This is why we had one where I was the owner (my SSN, my credit history, etc) and another where my wife was the owner. When she died, I just removed her as a user on the one where I was the owner. The acco...
by BigJohn
Fri Jun 21, 2019 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversions-easier if at same brokerage
Replies: 10
Views: 835

Re: Roth conversions-easier if at same brokerage

I have both accounts at Vanguard and I can do my Roth conversions on-line by just entering “move X shares of Y fund from tIRA to Roth”. The fund shares move and I’m never out of the market. I assume that TDA has similar capability. So it will certainly be a much more simple to have both at one place...
by BigJohn
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Insights From a Long Call With Vanguard Reps Today
Replies: 86
Views: 16734

Re: Insights From a Long Call With Vanguard Reps Today

vineviz, thanks for the explanation. Since I self manage and don’t need to tweak the duration, I’ll stick with just IT for simplicity but glad to understand why VG PAS is recommending.
by BigJohn
Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Insights From a Long Call With Vanguard Reps Today
Replies: 86
Views: 16734

Re: Insights from Vanguard

- Bond allocation - they use 30% ltd term tax exempt, 40% interm term tax exempt, 30% longer I’ve seen this from VG before and done the calculation and the average duration of this mix is almost identical to the IT muni funds. I’m still not sure why VG recommends this complexity vs 100% IT fund. An...
by BigJohn
Fri May 31, 2019 7:45 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Nominal] Annuities are a bet on future inflation rates and should not be purchased by retirees
Replies: 183
Views: 13356

Re: Annuities are a bet on future inflation rates and should not be purchased by retirees

I'm of the opinion that, in absence of a competitively-priced CPI-indexed annuity, a 2%-indexed annuity is a good enough alternative to insure a base of stable lifelong income (in addition to Social Security) when the Federal Reserve communicates its intention to keep inflation on a 2% target to al...
by BigJohn
Thu May 30, 2019 8:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retired Thinking Thru Conversion Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 1385

Re: Retired Thinking Thru Conversion Strategy

The exceptions are: 1) IRMAA tiers. I was just below an IRMAA tier a few years ago, so I declined to do additional Roth conversions that year. Following year I was just over that tier based on my early December computations, so I did a chunk more of Roth conversion before 12/31. 2) Surviving spouse...
by BigJohn
Thu May 30, 2019 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard moving clients from mutual funds to ETFs?
Replies: 34
Views: 4084

Re: Vanguard moving clients from mutual funds to ETFs?

tj wrote:
Thu May 30, 2019 5:58 pm
What's there to "force" ? When you hire VPAS, they are in charge of your portfolio...
Interesting perspective. I’m not a PAS user so don’t care one way or the other but I’ll predict some wailing and gnashing of teeth over this if it comes to pass.
by BigJohn
Thu May 30, 2019 5:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retired Thinking Thru Conversion Strategy
Replies: 10
Views: 1385

Re: Retired Thinking Thru Conversion Strategy

There are a lot of forum discussions on Roth conversion strategy that might be helpful to read. I’m personally not a fan of “to the top of the X% bracket” approach as there are a lot of discontinuities in the tax code (eg IRMAA tiers) as well as way too many variables. Here’s one recent discussion w...
by BigJohn
Thu May 30, 2019 5:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard moving clients from mutual funds to ETFs?
Replies: 34
Views: 4084

Re: Vanguard moving clients from mutual funds to ETFs?

Are you saying that VG PAS clients will be required to switch to ETFs by YE 2020? On one hand I’m surprised that they’d force a move like that but... there no doubt it’s a lower cost/effort model for them to maintain. Should be interesting to read the forum discussions on this if in fact there is no...
by BigJohn
Wed May 29, 2019 9:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excellent Larry Swedroe Podcast Interview: Factors For The Long Run
Replies: 337
Views: 19491

Re: Excellent Larry Swedroe Podcast Interview: Factors For The Long Run

Let’s give a SV fund more credit than you did, say perhaps a total of 3% over the 5% market that you assumed. Dave, thanks for the detailed response. I think I understand your points but I guess the assumption of a 3% SV premium seems pretty optimistic based on what I've read for even the smallest ...
by BigJohn
Tue May 28, 2019 8:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Nominal] Annuities are a bet on future inflation rates and should not be purchased by retirees
Replies: 183
Views: 13356

Re: Annuities are a bet on future inflation rates and should not be purchased by retirees

Thanks for the responses. I was aware that you could get a fixed COLA adjustment to an annuity at a cost. However, that isn’t what I think the authors were advocating with a real dollar annuity. This would need to be indexed to actual inflation in a manner similar to TIPS. As far as I know, this kin...
by BigJohn
Tue May 28, 2019 6:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Nominal] Annuities are a bet on future inflation rates and should not be purchased by retirees
Replies: 183
Views: 13356

Re: Annuities are a bet on future inflation rates and should not be purchased by retirees

While I understand the theoretical argument, from a practical perspective is it possible to by an inflation indexed SPIA? From comments I’ve read on this forum I thought not but would be glad to be pointed in the right direction.
by BigJohn
Tue May 28, 2019 6:30 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Excellent Larry Swedroe Podcast Interview: Factors For The Long Run
Replies: 337
Views: 19491

Re: Excellent Larry Swedroe Podcast Interview: Factors For The Long Run

Most people don’t appreciate that a typical 60/40 portfolio has 85-90% of its risk wrapped up in a single factor. Dave, I’m still not sure that I see factors as diversifying assets with higher risk adjusted returns. But I’m curious as to how much diversification the factor gurus think you can reall...
by BigJohn
Wed May 22, 2019 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: $400,000 gift to stepdaughter
Replies: 76
Views: 9022

Re: $400,000 gift to stepdaughter

I think your plan to give a modest amount each year is the right thing to do. I think directing the max to her Roth is also a good idea. I gift my kids their Roth contribution each year with the only stipulation being that I get to look at their account balance before the next gift. As long as it’s ...
by BigJohn
Tue May 21, 2019 5:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fair mortgage rate with great credit and 40% down payment?
Replies: 29
Views: 1447

Re: Fair mortgage rate with great credit and 40% down payment?

You used the word “fair” in your title but that’s really not the question. The question is are USAA’s rates competitive? I think you have enough info to conclude that they are competitive although there will certainly be some small differences from lender to lender. So the best you can do is take th...
by BigJohn
Tue May 21, 2019 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Larry Swedroe: Measuring Value In Forecasts
Replies: 40
Views: 2296

Re: Larry Swedroe: Measuring Value In Forecasts

While not just on the topic of economic forecasting, I found this article on the value and accuracy of all “expert” forecasters interesting reading in my news feed his morning. The article doesn’t use the term but it sure sounds like most experts are more susceptible to confirmation bias than one wo...