Search found 623 matches

by frose2
Fri Jul 27, 2012 10:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to determine tax bracket
Replies: 14
Views: 1564

Re: How to determine tax bracket

The only way I know to determine marginal tax rate is (a) make a spreadsheet out of your tax return with all calculations being represented as formulas within the spreadsheet, (b) pretend you got an extra dollar in salary, (c) how much did your tax increase? (d) converting cents to %, that is your m...
by frose2
Wed Jul 25, 2012 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learning to Speak Chinese
Replies: 49
Views: 6305

Re: Learning to Speak Chinese

A suggestion based on my experience in language learning: Read a lot in pinyin. That extensive reading builds vocabulary. When you have built a decent vocabulary, try listening to clearly enunciated audio, e.g., newscasters. Imitate the pronunciation a lot. It is going to be really hard. You can als...
by frose2
Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking clarification about [the Affordable Care Act]
Replies: 14
Views: 2486

Re: Seeking clarification about [the Affordable Care Act]

There are lots of big doubts for me: a) How much will premiums go up once individual health insurance becomes guaranteed issue? b) Will health insurers in some states simply refuse to write any guaranteed issue individual insurance at all? Curious factoid: some years ago insurers apparently convince...
by frose2
Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: int'l equities
Replies: 31
Views: 3703

Re: int'l equities

... I can see the Euro fiasco lasting another 10+ years and thinking of rebalancing a portion back into US equities... Hmmm. In March of 2010, you wrote, "Regarding the fall of the Euro and if Europe does not act fast will lead US into a double dip soon" Then on October of 2011 you wrote, "...as wh...
by frose2
Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can we expect future growth comparable to the past?
Replies: 20
Views: 1824

Re: Can we expect future growth comparable to the past?

Re China: I recall when Japan was going to eat our lunch, buy all our prime assets, and leave us in the dust. How did that play out? Japan is still a great and highly successful country. But it too now has to compete with China. Also, because unlike America it didn't deindustrialize, it has to comp...
by frose2
Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding gold in a safe deposit box
Replies: 33
Views: 4455

Re: Holding gold in a safe deposit box

Why are you holding physical gold? Childhood gifts and inheritance. It's not much and I suspect all items except perhaps the actual coins would be hard to sell for anything near their bullion value. However, I am considering a bigger holding with more purpose-designed items such as Krugerrands. The...
by frose2
Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Holding gold in a safe deposit box
Replies: 33
Views: 4455

Holding gold in a safe deposit box

Do those of you who hold physical gold feel OK holding it in a bank safe deposit box? Or do you follow other strategies, e.g., bury in the back yard?

Thanks.
by frose2
Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can we expect future growth comparable to the past?
Replies: 20
Views: 1824

Re: Can we expect future growth comparable to the past?

Lots of people who said this in 2008 missed a doubling of the stock market which to this day imbues their thinking, their hope for a return to those absolute levels in the indices... but what makes them think they will buy in then? VFINX (Vanguard's S&P 500 fund) was at $135 at the beginning of 200...
by frose2
Fri Jul 20, 2012 1:22 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors pay to lend Germany money
Replies: 22
Views: 2687

Re: Investors pay to lend Germany money

You have 1 bn Euros, you deposit it at Commerzbank or WestLB. They go bust. German government declines to fully bail out depositors (or bank bond holders, for that matter). You lose your money. I'm not sure what is meant here by "deposit." It's kind of an ambiguous word. I meant: put the currency i...
by frose2
Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investors pay to lend Germany money
Replies: 22
Views: 2687

Re: Investors pay to lend Germany money

Fascinating. I thought nominal negative rates were impossible because, after all, can't you just put currency (banknotes) in a safe deposit box and get zero interest? Weird. Maybe people think government bonds will survive a euro breakup better than banknotes?
by frose2
Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sick of Mutual Funds...
Replies: 42
Views: 4125

Re: Sick of Mutual Funds...

Any other former mutual fund investors here that have also decided these aren't the way to go? I thought gold or silver might be good investments since they are a finite resource but with the shenangans and outright fraud in the market- I don't trust these either. The obvious answer is to ask yours...
by frose2
Fri Jul 13, 2012 3:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesley Income Fund
Replies: 29
Views: 13423

Re: Wellesley Income Fund

Time for the "Wellesley Bashers" to come out of the closet again. Every time I see the Wellesley fund mentioned, the same old stale arguments pop up: "I would never own an active fund!" "Wellesley has a lot of bonds!" "Wellesley will get hurt when interest rates rise!" Disdain for active funds is o...
by frose2
Thu Jul 12, 2012 4:46 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Attitudes toward Investing: Has yours changed?
Replies: 26
Views: 2621

Re: Attitudes toward Investing: Has yours changed?

I'm still a bit apprehensive about the moves the Fed is making concerning the QE1, 2, 3?. I think the activities have favored debtors rather than savers, and hurt retiree's portfolios. +1. Definitely I am a lot more scared. I no longer think about such niceties of Boglehead purity as whether I shou...
by frose2
Thu Jul 12, 2012 1:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question for the Retired
Replies: 49
Views: 6215

Re: Question for the Retired

returns 01/01/2000 to today 07/10/2012 growth of $10K..Total Return for Wellington and Wellesley Investor shares: slightly better for admiral. VWELX $10K became $22082.11 VWINX $10K became $25068.25 I don't deny the basic point that bonds have done OK from 2000 to date, somewhat compensating for st...
by frose2
Tue Jul 10, 2012 4:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Question for the Retired
Replies: 49
Views: 6215

Re: Question for the Retired

You must have missed all the talk about bond bull market and the fact that retirees have lots of bonds,but OP is looking at past performance with this post,the future may be different, the same or better for retirement portfolios I am aware of the performance of longer-term bonds, especially the as...
by frose2
Wed Jul 04, 2012 8:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital costs
Replies: 189
Views: 13125

Re: Hospital costs

The ACA is fully paid for and in fact reduces the deficit, according to the CBO, congress's non-partisan budget office. The "fully paid for" illusion was based on scoring in a large cut in Medicare payments to providers, which cut has been part of law but eliminated every year by Congressional vote...
by frose2
Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital costs
Replies: 189
Views: 13125

Re: Hospital costs

I can tell you that thanks to our health insurance company my son's costs were much much higher (ten fold? who knows?) than they would have been had the doctor been allowed to prescribe and evaluate what works. Many doctors have said goodbye to taking insurance by using the concierge practice model...
by frose2
Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Happy 4th to everybody!
Replies: 14
Views: 1318

Re: Happy 4th to everybody!

I've always looked at the other side of things. What would/could have happened if we had stayed under the Crown? 1. Slavery would have been abolished sooner (1833). 2. It is highly likely that WW1 would not have lasted 4 years. As a White Dominion, US entry in 1914 would probably have limited the w...
by frose2
Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital costs
Replies: 189
Views: 13125

Re: Hospital costs

47% pay no federal income tax, but many of those pay other federal taxes, such as social security and medicare. About half of the remainder don't pay federal income taxes because they are retired. The working poor (under about $26k per year) get deductions that eliminate taxes . Not quite. The work...
by frose2
Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital costs
Replies: 189
Views: 13125

Re: Hospital costs

As for those who say the system is broken: it just means providers make good money, far more than providers in the rest of the world. Just to be clear, by 'providers' you mean insurance and pharmaceutical companies right? I mean doctors and hospitals. I also believe that pharmaceutical and technolo...
by frose2
Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hospital costs
Replies: 189
Views: 13125

Re: Hospital costs

So that I understand how this game is played, the hospital says it cost $11,458 for the care, but sends the insurance company a bill for $7,447 of which they pay only $1,000 to $1,500 assuming $0 deductible. Is that correct? Let me give my very limited experience. I have a policy which lets me have...
by frose2
Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Youngster moving overseas; asset allocation questions
Replies: 25
Views: 2869

Re: Youngster moving overseas; asset allocation questions

What taxes are you subject to in China? This is a big consideration for any investment. Primary taxation usually comes from the country where you're living. (If not, it's a tax haven.) On top of that, being a US citizen adds the special US citizen taxes. I am curious too if Karamatsu thinks I-bonds ...
by frose2
Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:20 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation and why it has not much mattered to me........
Replies: 29
Views: 4699

Re: Inflation and why it has not much mattered to me........

For the last 10 years we have been on my wife's company's Health Insurance...We have kept the premiums low, by staying healthy and taking physicals and submitting the results to the insurance company on an annual basis. This has kept our premiums from rising over the last 10 years. Fascinating. I h...
by frose2
Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation and why it has not much mattered to me........
Replies: 29
Views: 4699

Re: Inflation and why it has not much mattered to me........

The other poster needs to turn off Fox News. Assuming your are referring to me, I have never in my life watched the Fox News TV program. My post was based on what you said in the original post: you have not experienced much medical inflation in the last ten years during which you were retired, yet ...
by frose2
Sat Jun 30, 2012 3:42 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inflation and why it has not much mattered to me........
Replies: 29
Views: 4699

Re: Inflation and why it has not much mattered to me........

Anyway, The Health Care bill that was Approved by the Supreme Court will Save me Approximately $100 Grand over the next 13 years(Via Low Income Subsidies...We're living on Savings). My wife is 52 and won't be eligible for Medicare for 13 years. . . . So, all in all my costs have not risen much in t...
by frose2
Thu Jun 28, 2012 7:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA expected price implications
Replies: 24
Views: 1710

Re: ACA expected price implications

Since one idea of exchanges is to lower prices through group buying power, it wouldn't make sense to do anything to make the group smaller. I guess I would appreciate an explanation of this concept of "lower prices through group buying power" and how this relates to exchanges. The prices that count...
by frose2
Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA expected price implications
Replies: 24
Views: 1710

Re: ACA expected price implications

Let me offer one more Web page supporting BruDude's thinking. http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2012/05/gamage-how.html The author of the article referenced in this Web page is a professor at a famously liberal university. He served in the Obama administration. I haven't put in the effort to t...
by frose2
Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA expected price implications
Replies: 24
Views: 1710

Re: ACA expected price implications

As for small group and individual, I read this: "Structuring Health Insurance Exchanges State-based exchanges will be separated into those for individuals (American Health Benefit Exchanges) and those for small groups (Small Business Health Options Program)." https://www.harvardpilgrim.org/pls/porta...
by frose2
Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA expected price implications
Replies: 24
Views: 1710

Re: ACA expected price implications

A major difference between ACA and the current Massachusetts law is that the small group and individual markets were merged as part of the Massachusetts law. The lobbyists for ACA were careful to end that practice and force Massachusetts in effect to unmerge the two insurance markets.
by frose2
Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ACA expected price implications
Replies: 24
Views: 1710

ACA expected price implications

Let me try to see if I can ask an ACA (Affordable Care Act) question that survives locking. We are told that such questions "must be directly connected to your (or your friend's or family's) financial life." This question is at the very core of my financial life, and relates directly to whether I ca...
by frose2
Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 25?
Replies: 88
Views: 9549

Re: Mature Bogelheads: What did you wish you knew at 18 or 2

I wish at 25 I had understood the importance of getting a government job. I knew two people who landed one that year and wasn't impressed enough with them to try to follow in their footsteps.
by frose2
Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:31 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Off Topic Posts
Replies: 57
Views: 7143

Re: Off Topic Posts

Locking is one of the things that, I guess, adds spice and excitement to reading Bogleheads. It provides an incentive to get one's comment in before the thread is locked. I never thought I'd see a Larry Swedroe thread locked. What's next -- a Taylor Larimore thread being locked? (He did once make a ...
by frose2
Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Books that have actually changed your life, in a way.
Replies: 172
Views: 19778

Re: Books that have actually changed your life, in a way.

My first Calculus text, which taught me that math was more than arithmetic. I won't say how it changed my life, as that seems to be a minor point that many others are leaving out as well. Me too on both counts. However, to satisfy Victoria's curiosity, I will reveal that my text was published short...
by frose2
Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: POLL: Has your investment course changed in 15 years?
Replies: 52
Views: 3845

Re: POLL: Has your investment course changed in 15 years?

Three major changes:

a) Lower stock % 15 years ago due to valuation concerns

b) Gradual move towards non-dollar fixed income (big mistake it looks like)

c) Further reduction of stock % at the end of 2007 in response to St. Jack's market call
by frose2
Wed May 30, 2012 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Index Investing for Expatriates
Replies: 1
Views: 234

Re: Index Investing for Expatriates

Looking at this solely from the American point of view the article is awful. Basic facts: a) Americans abroad who have US-based accounts that they opened while living in America are often allowed to keep them and add money. It all depends on the custodian. It is particularly important for IRAs since...
by frose2
Tue May 29, 2012 9:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Housing costs
Replies: 29
Views: 2181

Re: Housing costs

And that's how it should be. If [a home] keeps up with inflation from the time we purchase it, and we build equity (via paying off the mortgage) we should be happy that that's what our house did for us. Gave us shelter and let us build memories. Hmm. With so much open space, there must be places in...
by frose2
Wed May 16, 2012 4:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: For all you older guys/gals close to retirement: Any advice?
Replies: 35
Views: 3867

Re: For all you older guys/gals close to retirement: Any adv

My #1 piece of advice is get a government job. You get health benefits in retirement which in America is priceless. You also get tenure, early retirement, and other benefits.
by frose2
Thu May 10, 2012 8:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Opinion- 401(k)s Are Too Risky For Retirement
Replies: 30
Views: 3590

Re: Opinion- 401(k)s Are Too Risky For Retirement

It is much better to be a government employee with tenure and a pension guaranteed by taxpayers than to be a private sector worker with a 401(k) who can be fired at any time. That's a no-brainer. The problem is, I don't think 100% of workers can work for governments.
by frose2
Fri Apr 27, 2012 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House in SF
Replies: 82
Views: 7301

Re: Buying a House in SF

Understand that it takes a minimum of 5 years to break even when buying a home as opposed to renting. This was definitely not the case in the better neighborhoods in the Bay Area from 1995 to 2005. Due to ~fourfold price appreciation in that decade, breakeven would be in a year or two. Maybe a bit ...
by frose2
Fri Apr 27, 2012 5:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying a House in SF
Replies: 82
Views: 7301

Re: Buying a House in SF

consciousoverride wrote:I would do the math and determine how many years you would have to live in the purchased SF home before breaking even compared to renting a comparable unit.
The most important element in this calculation is the expected appreciation. You need a really good crystal ball for that.
by frose2
Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about possibly getting DSLR/ Photography
Replies: 26
Views: 2167

Re: Question about possibly getting DSLR/ Photography

Photography is about having fun. I personally find the DSLR more fun because of the viewfinder and lower noise. Those things make it easier to get whatever shot I'm trying to get. Other people may have different tastes, such as asking themselves if their compositions meet some art-theory or art-scho...
by frose2
Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about possibly getting DSLR/ Photography
Replies: 26
Views: 2167

Re: Question about possibly getting DSLR/ Photography

I find my DSLR much easier to use than my compact or E-PL1 (a micro 4/3 camera). It's easier to use mainly because it has less noise, allowing you to use higher ISO values, and because it has a viewfinder. I also like having fast primes available. But the DSLR is a lot bigger and I don't like taking...
by frose2
Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retirement health insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 2078

Re: early retirement health insurance

A further suggestion for emigration, if you have enough management experience, is the Canadian investor visa. Applying is a no-brainer for Americans who qualify and who want to retire.
by frose2
Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: early retirement health insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 2078

Re: early retirement health insurance

For such extreme early retirement, with twenty years to go until the current Medicare age of entry, I suggest you consider emigration. Study your ancestries carefully to see if any of them might yield a second citizenship. If you do decide to stay in America, assume that individual health insurance ...
by frose2
Tue Apr 03, 2012 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Obtaining Health Insurance
Replies: 17
Views: 1431

Re: Obtaining Health Insurance

From what I can tell, you don't even know at this point in the investigation if you and your wife are insurable. I think you and your wife will be evaluated separately for this purpose. Because of this, unless you live in a state with guaranteed issue, you may wish to consult a broker. I don't think...
by frose2
Sun Apr 01, 2012 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What if you pay more than a billion dollars in fees?
Replies: 15
Views: 1561

Re: What if you pay more than a billion dollars in fees?

The $26.3 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System . . . paid about $1.35 billion in management fees in the last five years. OK, that's 1% per year. A bit high. Wellington Admiral charges 0.19% per year. The five year returns on Wellington are 4.84%, a bit better than what Pennsylvan...
by frose2
Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Tax Form 8938 - Statement of Specified Foreign Fin'l Assets
Replies: 18
Views: 3583

Re: Tax Form 8938 - Statement of Specified Foreign Fin'l Ass

The 8938 is a rather strange form cobbled together at the last minute by the IRS. If you try to complete it you realize it makes no sense, unlike the TDF 90-22.1 which is at least logical. By imposing a painful process of annual valuation of assets which are often not capable of valuation, Form 893...
by frose2
Sun Apr 01, 2012 5:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Think Twice About that Financial Advisor
Replies: 44
Views: 4758

Re: Think Twice About that Financial Advisor

A news story on market shares in the US financial advisor market: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/29/us-brokerages-marketshare-idUSBRE82S0T320120329 The share of high net worth customers' assets held by the top four brokers -- Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch, Wells Fargo Advisors a...
by frose2
Sat Mar 31, 2012 10:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How Friends Help Friends Become Indexers
Replies: 22
Views: 2646

Re: How Friends Help Friends Become Indexers

I don't tell friends to switch to index funds if they are already invested elsewhere. That is, I don't anymore. 5 years ago I told my friend who had all his money in Apple stock that he was being foolish and should diversify. He listened to my advice and is now less than pleased (Apple was at about...