Search found 790 matches

by Cyclesafe
Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:58 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should we go CD ladder or bond fund?
Replies: 7
Views: 1200

Re: Should we go CD ladder or bond fund?

WRT CD ladder vs bond fund: The current actual situation is the market's best guess of the present value of the future situation. IOW's, financially speaking, it matters not. What does matter are your needs for future liquidity and your probable discomfiture when to assets visibly priced to market d...
by Cyclesafe
Fri Jun 14, 2019 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I rent a car in Croatia? And other recommendations?
Replies: 11
Views: 812

Re: Should I rent a car in Croatia? And other recommendations?

Renting a car in Croatia is no different than doing so in other European countries. Make sure that your contract allows you to cross into non-EU countries like Serbia. The strip of Bosnia one crosses on the way north spans one inlet of the Adriatic and will be missed if you're not watching out for s...
by Cyclesafe
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retired at 35 and have no friends :(
Replies: 113
Views: 10625

Re: Retired at 35 and have no friends :(

Retired at 45 and subsequently burned through many, many hobbies, including law school, golf, scuba diving, 50k miles of self-supported bicycle touring through western US and Canada, home improvement, triathlons, extensive international travel - especially walking/trekking, etc. After 20 years of th...
by Cyclesafe
Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Which car to buy?
Replies: 29
Views: 2503

Re: Which car to buy?

Yesterday, DW and I once again had the annual "Should we replace the RX Lexus yet?" conversation. It's been 100% reliable, still looks great inside and out, and doesn't look dated to us. Most importantly, DW, who is the primary driver, doesn't see a reason to buy another vehicle. It has 82k miles an...
by Cyclesafe
Mon May 06, 2019 7:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ants - aargh
Replies: 69
Views: 4106

Re: ants - aargh

What works well in So Cali: When ants are noticed indoors, spray a three foot perimeter of Termidor SC around your house outdoors . Then set out sodium borate (Terro) traps on the ant trail indoors. The latter is selective and contained, the former is not. This method works for two years, sometimes ...
by Cyclesafe
Sun May 05, 2019 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: US $2Trillion for Infrastructure
Replies: 9
Views: 876

Re: US $2Trillion for Infrastructure

No matter how much you think you know about the industries you mention and no matter the level of confidence you might feel that these industries will do well, company share prices already reflect this news - news that there was a high level conversation about the possibility of spending $2T for inf...
by Cyclesafe
Sun May 05, 2019 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Reorganization - Ageism?
Replies: 23
Views: 4647

Re: Reorganization - Ageism?

All three. Nobody cares what you've done, only what they think you can do for them in the future. If you waste time recapping the past, it's time not spent contemplating the future. Trust me, they do not think you are owed anything for being a brave soldier who fought well in old battles / wars. You...
by Cyclesafe
Sat May 04, 2019 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows Update Nightmare
Replies: 2
Views: 839

Re: Windows Update Nightmare

This last one was a doozey. It took forever to download and install with many restarts. Budget this to take half a day.

Everything works fine now...
by Cyclesafe
Thu May 02, 2019 9:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Giving two week's notice before stock options vest
Replies: 91
Views: 5765

Re: Giving two week's notice before stock options vest

Perhaps $20k is worth it for the life lesson you'd receive if you are immediately turned out? Probably not. If you had experienced what I have over my career in these situations, you would ensure that you would receive whatever is coming to you first. Of course, you are also assuming that you will a...
by Cyclesafe
Wed May 01, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unable to create account on ssa.gov
Replies: 15
Views: 1139

Re: Unable to create account on ssa.gov

I couldn't establish an account online either and was told by the person on the helpline that I would have to go into an office and register in person. The issue was due to a credit freeze. The person on the helpline set me up with an appointment at the local SS office. I went there, signed in, and ...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:21 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Adjusting AA vs SPIA in retirement
Replies: 11
Views: 658

Re: Adjusting AA vs SPIA in retirement

Depends on assumptions about the future; returns, inflation, safety of insurer, state premium taxes etc. If the present value of the annuitized portion is considered fixed, it, plus your otherwise non-annuitized fixed is 40% of your assets (as in your example), and everything else remains the same, ...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Why buy period certain annuity?
Replies: 13
Views: 1099

Re: Why buy period certain annuity?

I (and others on this forum) have annuitized for a fixed term a highly appreciated investment annuity in order to get earlier access to basis. If merely surrendered proportionately for each year of the fixed period, all withdrawals would be 100% taxable until basis was breached. Of course, when the ...
by Cyclesafe
Thu Apr 25, 2019 7:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whats the Point of Climbing the Corporate Ladder?
Replies: 164
Views: 17045

Re: Whats the Point of Climbing the Corporate Ladder?

daheld wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 8:03 am
livesoft wrote:
Wed Apr 24, 2019 7:49 am
Because you will be fired to make room for the people that you are blocking behind you.
Where I work, the inverse is actually true. The higher you climb, the easier it is for you to be fired.
Actually, these are both true at the same time. Work is a hamster wheel...
by Cyclesafe
Wed Apr 24, 2019 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Nonfinancial value of state university vs private college (USC)?
Replies: 64
Views: 3025

Re: Nonfinancial value of state university vs private college (USC)?

I went to UCLA as a chemistry undergrad and USC for an MBA. UCLA seems akin to Maryland with regard to large "weed-out" first (and second) year classes. USC definitely is much more committed to the success of its students. To do anything substantive in biochemistry, one must go to a graduate school ...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard Flagship Select Representative ??
Replies: 31
Views: 2631

Re: Vanguard Flagship Select Representative ??

I've been generally pleased with whomever answers the flagship phone. Only once in twenty years did I actually connect with my rep when I called. When I breached select, I started getting invited to local events where I met my rep, but I was such a little fish in such a big pond that I was generally...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:42 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard variable annuity: New total international fund is cheaper than total stock?
Replies: 4
Views: 576

Re: Vanguard variable annuity: New total international fund is cheaper than total stock?

These funds are in the "Financial Advisors" section of the Vanguard site - not the "Personal Investors" section. Their fees are all fractions of what personal investors are paying for annuities. Total Stock and Total International fees are 0.42% and 0.38%, respectively. WTH? Are these funds really s...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Apr 23, 2019 9:11 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Annuity
Replies: 4
Views: 553

Re: Annuity

Call Vanguard to arrange a 1035 transfer - especially if surrender fees of original investment annuity have expired. It will take a month or so and you'll soon be paying among the lowest fees possible. Then draw it down to avoid breaching state/federal income tax, IRMAA, taxation of social security ...
by Cyclesafe
Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can one own a Porsche 911 that is not a money pit?
Replies: 49
Views: 5131

Re: Can one own a Porsche 911 that is not a money pit?

OTOH, the concerns of the OP are well-founded. Nick Murray bought two lemons, a 991.1 and a 991.2. They were both bought back by Porsche, the second after 4 months in the shop. I also have been lusting for a 911, but Nick's experiences have cooled me off quite a bit. I am very happy, however, with m...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is Crown Molding Out-of-Style?
Replies: 46
Views: 4885

Re: Is Crown Molding Out-of-Style?

One summer DW bought a high-end miter saw and tarted up our transitional track home with moulding (chair, crown, picture, window frames, column flutes, baseboards) everywhere. It looks super nice because it also goes with our furniture which is transitional/traditional. It sets our house apart from ...
by Cyclesafe
Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?
Replies: 177
Views: 10179

Re: seriously thinking about leaving S. CA but where to?

Split, Croatia. Ticks all the boxes.
by Cyclesafe
Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luxury car recommendations?
Replies: 107
Views: 9656

Re: Luxury car recommendations?

It's perfectly understandable that when one can afford it one starts coveting something "better". If one has been happy with a Toyota, buying Lexus makes sense. A gently used Lexus, as was with a gently used Toyota, is often a better deal than buying new. I would caution however, that opening up fur...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:12 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ex-pat jobs for US citizens
Replies: 10
Views: 1338

Re: Ex-pat jobs for US citizens

I've had three ex-pat assignments: two were internal transfers, one was the result of being recruited. First, one has to establish common ground as to what an expat assignment actually is. A senior position where one (allegedly) brings an expertise that a company is less willing / unable to source l...
by Cyclesafe
Mon Apr 08, 2019 9:24 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Who builds lenses on existing frames?
Replies: 17
Views: 1080

Re: Who builds lenses on existing frames?

Googling yields many online companies that will put new lenses in existing frames - If one doesn't care about the specific lens. For the 4-5 sites I tried, I ticked off "progressives", "clear", occasionally the material I wanted, then what kind of good, better, best anti-reflective coating, UV resis...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Porsche Cayenne Base Model vs Premium Lexus RX or GLE?
Replies: 23
Views: 1726

Re: Porsche Cayenne Base Model vs Premium Lexus RX or GLE?

Drive them. I own both a Porsche Macan Turbo and a Lexus RX300. The Porsche handles more like a sportscar; the Lexus handles more like a boat. The Porsche is expensive to maintain and should be taken to the dealer or a Porsche independent for servicing. The Lexus is far cheaper to maintain and can b...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long Term Care Self-Insurers: How are you planning and investing for old age care?
Replies: 47
Views: 2974

Re: Long Term Care Self-Insurers: How are you planning and investing for old age care?

LTC expenses are best drawn from a tax deferred account since all costs incurred (after % of AGI threshold) in the later stages of life (when support for Activities of Daily Life are required) are (currently) deductible. These funds should be protected from inflation until possibly used - in TIPS, o...
by Cyclesafe
Fri Apr 05, 2019 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.
Replies: 11
Views: 1448

Re: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.

Thanks for the replies. How strenuous were the hikes? We can do 10-15 miles per day on rolling terrain, not sure in mountains. Regarding the Trans Alpina, the days can be quite long with thousands of feet of ascent / descent; occasional sketchy trail and occasional exposure - usually both at the sa...
by Cyclesafe
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.
Replies: 11
Views: 1448

Re: Hiking in Alps - Hotel to hotel, service hauls bags.

A couple of years ago we did the Trans Alpina in Switzerland and the Austrian Lake District / Dalchsteins with Sherpa Expeditions. Our bags were always there at the end of the day. Whoever is your wholesaler, a local company does the luggage transfers. We started on a September 1 and were snowed out...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Apr 02, 2019 8:31 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: California Munis: long- vs. intermediate-term bond funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1774

Re: California Munis: long- vs. intermediate-term bond funds

The average durations of "long term" VCLAX of about 7.0 and "intermediate term" VCADX of about 5.2 approximately reflect the difference in SEC yield, about 2.51% and 2.06%, respectively. Since muni's tend to be callable, yields will face an accelerating decline (and stay there) when interest rates g...
by Cyclesafe
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anybody else get a huge tax increase due to SALT deduction changes?
Replies: 101
Views: 7174

Re: Anybody else get a huge tax increase due to SALT deduction changes?

I ran 2017 TurboTax with 2018 numbers and am better off by $15.6k due to lower marginal rates and no AMT. However, I NEVER would have purposely realized so much income in 2018 as to incur AMT if there hadn't been a change. There are so many moving parts that one simply cannot assess whether one is b...
by Cyclesafe
Fri Mar 29, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Help save my father from another annuity
Replies: 20
Views: 1525

Re: Help save my father from another annuity

1035 what you can to Vanguard. I have found Vanguard rep's to make the best of a sketchy investment annuity. Call them first as they can initiate the transfer. Otherwise surrendering the existing annuity will create a taxable event at full income rates. If an income annuity is not needed, then withd...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert to Roth in High Tax Bracket?
Replies: 6
Views: 879

Re: Convert to Roth in High Tax Bracket?

Since you don't mind bequesting, you might consider the likely tax situation of your heirs. Perhaps it would be better for them to pay the taxes?
by Cyclesafe
Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Camping Tent?
Replies: 28
Views: 1711

Re: Good Camping Tent?

You say you want quality...

I spent more than 6 months worth of nights in a Hilleberg Allak, then sold it on eBay for more than I paid for it.

http://us.hilleberg.com/EN/about-our-te ... ight-tent/

Buy once and be done with it...
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VCADX and a 230,000 inheritance
Replies: 5
Views: 1170

Re: VCADX and a 230,000 inheritance

If you are "moving states", then you might consider VWIUX instead. The relative TEY's bounce around, but the latter often yields enough more to make the after tax (Fed + Cali) return of both pretty much the same. You won't want the Cali fund if you are not living in Cali.
by Cyclesafe
Tue Mar 19, 2019 7:56 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Muni bond fund in taxable account: state (CA) or national
Replies: 24
Views: 1664

Re: Muni bond fund in taxable account: state (CA) or national

Choice here is all about risk if tax equivalent yield happens to be the same. Cali has the 5th largest economy in the world - between UK and Germany - and its bonds thus probably safer than those from an average non-Cali US state. Previous threads have offered 50% Cali / 50% non-Cali as a compromise...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris - Is It Safe?
Replies: 143
Views: 8970

Re: Paris - Is It Safe?

Stay away from demonstrations and maintain a general awareness of what's going on around you and the other tourist is more likely to get robbed. Anything can happen, however.

I wouldn't hesitate to visit Paris.
by Cyclesafe
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:38 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Companies that pay dividends to their shareholders not in the form of cash, but rather in the form of additional shares
Replies: 15
Views: 1105

Re: Companies that pay dividends to their shareholders not in the form of cash, but rather in the form of additional sha

A company paying out "dividends" in its own stock is only increasing the number of its shares outstanding. It's a wash and should be of no interest to the investor. One's proportion of ownership remains unchanged and the stock's price per share should drop proportionately. If a company touts this as...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal age to purchase SPIA
Replies: 34
Views: 2972

Re: Optimal age to purchase SPIA

...IMHO one can't justify a SPIA purely on a cost/benefit basis. An investor can always do better without the middleman. So the simple answer is never... No, an investor cannot pool the combined experiences of thousands of participants. An investor cannot use the statistical probability of dying so...
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Another Zenni question: Progressive lens?
Replies: 12
Views: 769

Re: Another Zenni question: Progressive lens?

I have bought several pairs of progressives on-line at Go-Optic. I've selected Zeiss digital Trivex every time and have been very happy. I think the issue is that the initial distortion experienced by going progressive in the first place is confused with something having gone wrong in the manufactur...
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Optimal age to purchase SPIA
Replies: 34
Views: 2972

Re: Optimal age to purchase SPIA

If one has flexibility with regards to when to purchase an SPIA policy for longevity risk insurance, what it the optimal age to purchase from a cost/benefit ratio perspective? Thanks! IMHO one can't justify a SPIA purely on a cost/benefit basis. An investor can always do better without the middlema...
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fixed Annuity for Bond Allocation
Replies: 3
Views: 366

Re: Fixed Annuity for Bond Allocation

I was in a similar situation. I say "was" because now I am over 59 1/2 and have long ago 1035'ed to Vanguard. For me, I am withdrawing from my annuity rather than drawing down my t-IRA to minimize RMD's, because I am hoping to recapture the basis from the former before I get too old to spend it. Wor...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Mar 12, 2019 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Analysis Paralysis
Replies: 18
Views: 2363

Re: Analysis Paralysis

What to say? You ditched your skimming financial advisor and are choosing between a proper-for-you allocation among index funds or lower-cost-highly regarded managed funds. There is no right answer because you don't have a time machine. What is certain is that with the latter, your costs will be hig...
by Cyclesafe
Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Health Care Costs In Retirement
Replies: 14
Views: 1426

Re: Health Care Costs In Retirement

$1861/mo for two 64 year olds in Cali. $10k deductible Bronze HDP.
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 09, 2019 8:26 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience with battery powered motorized windowshades...
Replies: 4
Views: 374

Experience with battery powered motorized windowshades...

We are replacing our window treatments and would like to motorize their opening and closing. Hard wiring would be too disruptive even though we would do the work ourselves. A plug-in transformer would be unsightly with the cords and all. So that leaves us with battery power - something like 12 1.5V ...
by Cyclesafe
Wed Mar 06, 2019 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: tIRA to ROTH conversions-LTC considerations
Replies: 12
Views: 948

Re: tIRA to ROTH conversions-LTC considerations

Only LTC expenses when doctor certifies that two Activities of Daily Life require assistance. Conversions / withdrawals at 24 and even 32% (or higher) make sense if there is a conviction that marginal tax rates will be even higher in the future and/or when an investor wants to spend all of his/her r...
by Cyclesafe
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax Estimates in Retirement
Replies: 15
Views: 1166

Re: Tax Estimates in Retirement

One can't predict the future, but you can simulate between reasonable extremes to test the sensitivity of your plan to taxes. I use the current tax scheme for 2019 to 2025 and the chained CPI-adjusted 2017 and before tax scheme for 2026 and beyond. Beyond this, there are many other assumptions - als...
by Cyclesafe
Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish
Replies: 108
Views: 6119

Re: Has any retiree taken classes at 4-year college - for interest - e.g. Spanish

You need to find a class where the students actually want to learn the subject. When I was taking classes at a university, most of the students were just punching tickets for a diploma and seriously resented those few students who asked questions that broadened instruction that might find its way to...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much $ to spend on home refresh / remodel
Replies: 15
Views: 1958

Re: How much $ to spend on home refresh / remodel

My home is almost 15 years old and starting to look dated in certain places. It's worth a bit under $400k and has barely kept up with inflation. We're considering working with a designer and putting a decent chunk of money into it including landscaping, painting, building a mud room, replacing fans...
by Cyclesafe
Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best quality car - Lexus?
Replies: 56
Views: 6336

Re: Best quality car - Lexus?

I've owned four Lexuses. I'm into my 19th year with an RX300, that apart from some shopping cart dings, still looks new after 85k. My wife REFUSES to buy another car. I bought her (me) a Macan Turbo in 2015 that she still refuses to drive, because the Lexus meets all of her needs. She agrees that th...
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 02, 2019 7:22 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lots of cash .. Scared to put it to work now
Replies: 207
Views: 17806

Re: Lots of cash .. Scared to put it to work now

Cash is costing you about 2% per year. last year it allowed me to make more than most of my peers . Last year doesn't matter because you didn't spend it. What matters is how much you will have in real terms - after taxes - when you need to exchange your investment for goods and services. Play the l...
by Cyclesafe
Sat Mar 02, 2019 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Lots of cash .. Scared to put it to work now
Replies: 207
Views: 17806

Re: Lots of cash .. Scared to put it to work now

Cash is costing you about 2% per year.