Search found 1317 matches

by sewall
Tue May 08, 2012 7:50 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any bogleheads on Twitter?
Replies: 27
Views: 1755

Re: Any bogleheads on Twitter?

I'm on twitter http://twitter.com/afrakt . (No, not Alex Frakt. I'm one of the other A. Frakts.)
by sewall
Mon Jan 04, 2010 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Health insurance and Medicare in retirement
Replies: 45
Views: 11419

A possibly useful list of links follows (all from this post on retirement insurance options): <a href="http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf">Medicare & You</a>—<a href="http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf">Medicare.gov</a> (2009 version)...
by sewall
Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should anyone have an emergency fund?
Replies: 66
Views: 14176

Re: Should anyone have an emergency fund?

I have no way to know whether it is higher or lower than 21%. OK, I'll play the game: yes, I think it's higher than 0.01%, and yes, I think it's lower than 50%. Does that tell me anything useful about what my emergency fund should be? Look at it this way. We all make some guess about our EF. From t...
by sewall
Wed Dec 23, 2009 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should anyone have an emergency fund?
Replies: 66
Views: 14176

The real question I have is how large should one's emergency fund be. I've yet to see any credible basis for typical answers. I can imagine studies that would convince me but I'm not aware of them. Hatcher's was the first I've seen that approached the EF issue with anything like a rational basis. On...
by sewall
Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The dark side of umbrellas
Replies: 59
Views: 8456

Umbrellas can pose some interesting problems. You can overpurchase the protection they suggest and yet still not be covered when you need it. Continuing with the metaphor, the following problem illustrates this: An absent-minded professor has two umbrellas that she uses when commuting from home to o...
by sewall
Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:34 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Daily Hits to This Site
Replies: 66
Views: 12448

Not that I'm advocating solicitations for contributions, but if one were to think along those lines I wonder if there are some educational/outreach activities that would be worthy of support. I could brainstorm many ideas but will hold my "tongue" lest I get too far ahead of something that...
by sewall
Mon Nov 30, 2009 12:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most efficient way to use a dishwasher
Replies: 20
Views: 3960

Most efficient and fastest is wash by hand. Is this true? This is the first I have heard this. Check your manual. Mine says the machine uses ~6.5 gallons of water. I can wash two-days worth of dishes for our family of four in one run. I doubt very much I could do so by hand using less water unless ...
by sewall
Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most efficient way to use a dishwasher
Replies: 20
Views: 3960

Experiment so you know how much prewashing is required (my relatively new Kenmore requires hardly any). Experiment with packing density so you know what a "full load" means (I can pack mine very tightly and am the best packer in the house, getting 2X more dishes in than my spouse, for exam...
by sewall
Thu Nov 19, 2009 1:38 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: are any of you bogleheads on twitter?
Replies: 37
Views: 4595

I'm only on Twitter in the following way.

My blog content can be followed on Twitter: @IncidentalEcon

Apart from providing that service I don't pay any attention to Twitter.
by sewall
Mon Nov 16, 2009 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Access to online technical journals
Replies: 12
Views: 2226

In Google Scholar there is a link below each reference for all versions on-line. I'd say in half the cases there is a free version floating about. E-mailing the author is OK for occasional needs but you may wear out your welcome if done too often to the same author. Many of the other suggestions wer...
by sewall
Mon Nov 16, 2009 2:55 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Investing for multiple goals -- one big asset allocation or
Replies: 9
Views: 2011

To my mind the pinnacle of logic here is to set goals independently but invest collectively. However, the constraints of various investment vehicles, tax considerations, and other logistical necessities will degrade that ideal. I've been down this road and in the end have settled on an idiosyncratic...
by sewall
Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:31 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Future of the Wiki
Replies: 71
Views: 58159

I made something akin to the following suggestion a while back on another thread. This community has a several (maybe a dozen or more) members that write very fine personal finance content on their blogs. Perhaps some of them would be willing to permit portions of such content to be used as the star...
by sewall
Thu Nov 12, 2009 2:41 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The Future of the Wiki
Replies: 71
Views: 58159

Yes, I have a thought about this. (I confess to not having read the whole thread above.) Once upon a time I was very eager to contribute to the wiki and began doing so. Then I felt tremendous pressure to make articles adhere to certain editorial guidelines. (I won't go into the source of this pressu...
by sewall
Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: College Savings ESA vs 529
Replies: 22
Views: 6019

This is one of those topics that both comes up frequently here and is relevant to my own situation. I've documented my thoughts on it elsewhere . Bottom line: I like 529s (and in particular Vanguard's), mostly for the simplicity and predictability. Plus I have a bit in I-Bonds too, though that serve...
by sewall
Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:04 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: estate planning lawyer advice?
Replies: 14
Views: 3175

I recommend reading Plan Your Estate by Denis Clifford (Nolo Press) before visiting a lawyer. It will help you prepare and know what to think about and ask. If you want a sense of the book, here's a review.
by sewall
Sun Oct 18, 2009 8:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Econometrics
Replies: 20
Views: 3127

Econometrics applied to health policy issues is what I do. Believe me a lot can be learned using appropriate techniques. Pure descriptive analysis can be very misleading.
by sewall
Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:57 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is it time to redirect dividends to cash?
Replies: 15
Views: 2268

Re: Is it time to redirect dividends to cash?

YDNAL wrote:
ddb wrote:I never reinvest in any type of account. Yeah, it provides a slight cash drag (but also reduces risk, I guess), but it's minimal.
Ditto.
Likewise. Started doing it after some TLH headaches. I reinvest manually each quarter to (slightly) rebalance. (Full rebalancing annually.)
by sewall
Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hotel says I stole something.. any recourse?
Replies: 84
Views: 19697

I would dispute with CC company. Also, in the past when I've been in disputes with a company I've told them I have a far reaching internet community of over 10,000 people [The Bogleheads] and I'm sure they don't want me writing bad things about them. I also tell them that if they resolve this in a p...
by sewall
Thu Oct 01, 2009 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Working as a VA physician
Replies: 28
Views: 19635

Re: Working as a VA physician

I recently received a job offer to work in the local VA hospital. I am Board Certified in Internal Medicine, and the position is in their General Medicine Service line, with out-patient and in-patient responsibilities. The pay is comparable to what I'm getting as a physician in a medical center. Th...
by sewall
Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Windows Internet Explorer 7 is Faster than Firefox 3.5
Replies: 36
Views: 6017

The instant Chrome works with the Google Toolbar I will be a Chrome user and supporter. Before then I remain baffled why it does not. I've researched the topic and all the answers seem bogus to me. I suspect infighting and internal turf issues at Google. A sign of Microsoft-ism?
by sewall
Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking for some Gmail help
Replies: 8
Views: 1789

Solutions: 1. Create your own category of the "really valuable ones". You control what goes into that category. Thus, you can treat the rest as "junk". 2. Use client software that permits more control over contacts (Outlook?). It might help to know why exactly it bothers you that...
by sewall
Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: turning off water/water heater when away from home??
Replies: 33
Views: 53920

Whenever I leave my home empty for more than a day or two I shut off the main water valve and open the faucets on the basement utility sink. This take 30 seconds to do. It drains all or most of the water out of the pipes, with the major exception of the HW heater itself. Thus, should any plumbing le...
by sewall
Sat Sep 19, 2009 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Age in bonds
Replies: 9
Views: 2330

A guesstimate plus or minus 10 is still a guesstimate. In that sense it doesn't matter. Also in that sense, it is a poor way to figure your AA.
by sewall
Wed Sep 16, 2009 9:52 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever had a bank statement (or similar) that was incorrect?
Replies: 26
Views: 4742

A bank lost my CD once. I had all the paper records. They fixed it. No way they would have believed me without my records.
by sewall
Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bill collector's headache: help
Replies: 19
Views: 2763

Thanks all. I'm still thinking about what, if anything, I'll suggest or offer to help with. But your ideas span the range (and go beyond).
by sewall
Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: bill collector's headache: help
Replies: 19
Views: 2763

bill collector's headache: help

My child's pre-school has a problem getting some parents to pay their tuition bill on time. It is a public program (yes, with tuition) so tossing kids out isn't as easy as it might be in a private school. It is not like there is a waiting list. They can't easily scale back staff... What they end up ...
by sewall
Thu Sep 10, 2009 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost wallet, don't remember credit card(s)....
Replies: 9
Views: 2372

Thanks a lot for the quick replies. I was able to find the card and I called the credit card company only to find out the card has already been closed for ~2 years :). Guess you didn't need the backup very much! :D For this very reason, at home I keep a list of what's in my wallet. It includes name...
by sewall
Fri Sep 04, 2009 1:53 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How do you determine how much to save in a 529?
Replies: 19
Views: 3531

Were I able to I'd probably save about 50% of private college tuition expenses in 529s. I've got two kids. Chances are good at least one will want to go to a private school. If only one does, I'm covered entirely. If both do, I've got half. If one or both go to public schools then I won't be too bad...
by sewall
Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax brackets and income for retirees
Replies: 76
Views: 12276

Social security taxation - this is probably the biggest issue as it can bump your ordinary tax rate by 85% in the range where SS is taxed (i.e. 25% bracket becomes 46.25% marginal bracket). That I don't understand this may be because there is something about SS taxation I don't know. This is likely...
by sewall
Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:47 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Childcare and budgeting
Replies: 35
Views: 3954

I have a high-level and simple budgeting approach ( described in detail here ). I don't breakout subcategories. Instead my budget is based on paychecks and bills. Thus, anything charged to my credit card (including many, many expenses for kids) is not explicitly itemized. Child care expenses are pai...
by sewall
Thu Sep 03, 2009 7:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax brackets and income for retirees
Replies: 76
Views: 12276

Social security taxation - this is probably the biggest issue as it can bump your ordinary tax rate by 85% in the range where SS is taxed (i.e. 25% bracket becomes 46.25% marginal bracket). That I don't understand this may be because there is something about SS taxation I don't know. This is likely...
by sewall
Wed Sep 02, 2009 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spouse has business and has trouble controlling costs
Replies: 22
Views: 2937

"Profit" or "savings" should be for a purpose. For what purpose is the profit? If it is to fund retirement, say, then set up a retirement account that gets paid first, the rest can be spent on "expenses". Not enough? Need to save for other things? Set up another account...
by sewall
Tue Sep 01, 2009 4:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NBER paper on lifecycle fund auto-enrollment
Replies: 0
Views: 702

NBER paper on lifecycle fund auto-enrollment

New NBER paper. The following is from the NBER Digest e-mail I received. Default, Framing and Spillover Effects: The Case of Lifecycle Funds in 401(k) Plans Olivia S. Mitchell, Gary R. Mottola, Stephen P. Utkus, and Takeshi Yamaguchi The default effect is strong: single lifecycle fund investment rat...
by sewall
Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: When you accidentally drop a piece of fruit...
Replies: 26
Views: 4927

I adore this thread and its title. Never in my life would I have predicted a thread such as this on a forum such as this. I'm really getting a nice buzz of cognitive dissonance off it. (I am not being snippy. I don't do that here anymore. My words are genuine. I love it!) Anyway, I don't buy the dro...
by sewall
Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Coverdell ESA sunset provisions 2010
Replies: 17
Views: 5706

I'm grateful for this thread. I didn't know about the Coverdell sunset after 2010. Even with this sunset coverdell seems no worse than a 529 plan. This is debateable. While Coverdells may have some advantages to 529s they also have disadvantages including, I believe: - contributions are not tax dedu...
by sewall
Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Asset allocation and emergency fund
Replies: 3
Views: 1263

This question comes up a lot, which is why I wrote up my stock answer in detail in Including Emergency Funds in Your Asset Allocation . Here's a short excerpt: Here’s my solution. Nobody says you have to specify your AA in percentages. Absolute dollar levels are fine too. You can mix percentages and...
by sewall
Fri Aug 28, 2009 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Rebalancing TSP
Replies: 5
Views: 2131

Re: Rebalancing TSP

First off, how does my target AA look... Also, if I want to rebalance back to my target AA do I just use and interfund transfer or contribute money to the certain funds to get it back? I won't answer your first question directly. My indirect answer is that I think each individual can and should do ...
by sewall
Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Metal Roofs
Replies: 26
Views: 4460

Re: Metal Roofs

The Metal Roof will cost 2-3 times as much, but will last indefinately and look nicer, whereas a shingle roof will need to be done every 10-15 years. Asphalt shingle 10-15 years? Really? Maybe I'm misinformed or we're talking about different products but I thought closer to 30 was the norm. I sure ...
by sewall
Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: double speak award-hope you get a smile
Replies: 3
Views: 1277

My favorite double-speak / hedge words are those used when someone wants to convince someone else that they're doing something but really are not (e.g. a worker tries to make it seem to his boss he's been doing what has been asked of him): "I have started to think about that problem." or &...
by sewall
Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Budgeting for House Maintenance
Replies: 12
Views: 2221

I forecast the big items I can predict (repainting, appliance replacement, roof, and so forth) and budget for them. The rest is absorbed by my emergency fund which serves as a cash flow buffer and is appropriately sized to do so. I then replenish my EF if it is used. In that sense, some things are p...
by sewall
Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:29 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: question for those back (or near) portfolio all-time-high's
Replies: 49
Views: 6014

Re: question for those back (or near) portfolio all-time-hig

1) The portfolio was small to begin with and thus new contributions are larger relative to the size of the portfolio than mine are. Yes. And this has to be the answer for buy-and-hold (stay the course) types. Not really. Based on m*'s new customizable "growth of $10,000 charts, from a Sept 30,...
by sewall
Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No Social Security COLA for next 2 years
Replies: 22
Views: 3411

FWIW, back in May I wrote this up in a summary, spelling out the what the CBO projections mean over the next few years and the implications for Medicare Part B and Part D premiums, depending on your Medicare status. It isn't news but if this is new to you the summary may be of use: http://theinciden...
by sewall
Tue Aug 25, 2009 8:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: question for those back (or near) portfolio all-time-high's
Replies: 49
Views: 6014

Re: question for those back (or near) portfolio all-time-hig

btownguy wrote: 1) The portfolio was small to begin with and thus new contributions are larger relative to the size of the portfolio than mine are.
Yes. And this has to be the answer for buy-and-hold (stay the course) types.
by sewall
Fri Aug 21, 2009 8:51 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why Do Restaurants Do This?
Replies: 44
Views: 8652

My restaurant pet peeve: If you tell a waiter you need more time to look over the menu, the waiter often disappears (from view) for way too long. I've even said, I need one more minute and then had to wait 10 before I saw the waiter again. I know the waiter doesn't want to bother me but if (s)he wou...
by sewall
Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I be suckered into buying a home by the tax credit?
Replies: 12
Views: 2275

livesoft wrote:As soon as the $8K credit goes away, house prices will drop by $8K.
Probably $10k since prices tend to move in $5k or $10k increments. :)
by sewall
Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: See the pop. age 1950-2050
Replies: 18
Views: 3398

It is true that predictions are uncertain. Structural changes, of course, can throw things way off. But relative to economic predictions, demographic predictions are less error prone. We're basically talking about three sets of numbers that drive the prediction: birth rate, death rate, and net immi...
by sewall
Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: See the pop. age 1950-2050
Replies: 18
Views: 3398

That is a great link, thanks for sharing that! The graph of the coming demographic doom with all of these baby boomers retiring did not appear so dire. Of course anything past 2030 is just a big guess, because there are many factors that could alter future demographics. It is true that predictions ...
by sewall
Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:43 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: See the pop. age 1950-2050
Replies: 18
Views: 3398

See the pop. age 1950-2050

This is a neat series of graphs put in motion, illustrating the aging of the population: http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/2009/ ... -1950.html
by sewall
Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:36 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Study: 40% Twitter tweets are pointless 'babble'
Replies: 34
Views: 4208

Most (all?) human activity has no inherent absolute meaning anyway. We're all free to decide for ourselves what adds meaning to our lives. As with Facebook I use Twitter principally as a service to anyone who wants to hear from me. I put out the same content as is available on my blog and by RSS. So...
by sewall
Sat Aug 15, 2009 8:26 am
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: Edit Etiquette
Replies: 6
Views: 1996

My $0.02:

I can't imagine this is worth worrying about. I didn't know there was an e-mail option. If there is, relative to the volume of posts here your edits can't make that much of a difference. Better to edit than to leave inaccurate or incomplete, IMHO.