Search found 85 matches

by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Nov 29, 2019 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Invest cash in conservative manner until next recession
Replies: 118
Views: 9645

Re: Invest cash in conservative manner until next recession

We use Vanguard Treasury Money Market VUSXX. VUSXX returns about 10% more than savings accounts. Also, VUSXX dividends are not subject to state income tax, so it returns an additional 5.75% for us. It is not FDIC insured, so there are no account limits to consider. I believe U.S. Treasuries are the ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New job opportunity, tough decision
Replies: 54
Views: 3814

Re: New job opportunity, tough decision

You are on track for retirement, you bought a house for less than 2.5 times annual income, and you have a secure job with maximum flexibility. I would not trade your position for 3 times the salary, and definitely not for a manufacturing (production) environment. From my perspective (12 years retire...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Tsp question
Replies: 6
Views: 446

Re: Tsp question

Total amount you can contribute DOES NOT INCLUDE agency contributions. You can contribute 19,000 for 2019 and 19,500 for 2020, and 6,000 additional for 2019, 6,500 additional for 2020 if you are age 50 or older. Contrary to what others have stated, this is IN ADDITION TO any agency contributions. If...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Theory of Economics book recommendation desired
Replies: 29
Views: 1944

Re: Theory of Economics book recommendation desired

The accessible economics book I have ever read is The Worldly Philosophers, by Robert L. Heilbroner.

I first read this book more than 50 years ago, it continues to influence my life and inform my work.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat Oct 19, 2019 11:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: will tradng Slumberger (SLB) trigger foriegn taxes?
Replies: 6
Views: 762

Re: will tradng Slumberger (SLB) trigger foriegn taxes?

Foreign tax credit for dividend withholding is a trivial accounting task. It requires just 1 more form on Turbotax, with no additional cost. We hold Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands withholding) and formerly held Total (France withholding). One caveat, your foreign tax credit is prorated, by our IRS, ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do I store a boat this winter?
Replies: 20
Views: 1513

Re: How do I store a boat this winter?

Steel carport for around $1200 in the size you need for the boat and trailer is the best option. It will protect against sun damage far better, and far longer, than any fabric covering. Boat will always be ready to go, just back up, hook up to trailer, and drive away. We use those carports in severa...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Back Retired Military Time Under FERS
Replies: 6
Views: 509

Re: Buying Back Retired Military Time Under FERS

To the best of my knowledge, you need to enroll in FEHB during open season, or due to a life-changing event, before you retire. After you retire, you can SUSPEND FEHB at any time, but need to wait until open season to get back in, unless you lose your Tricare coverage. Be sure to understand the diff...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buying Back Retired Military Time Under FERS
Replies: 6
Views: 509

Re: Buying Back Retired Military Time Under FERS

Retired military and FERS here, 20+ years military, 17 years FERS. In your situation I would MOST DEFINITELY NOT buy back military time. Most significant reason - military pension receives full COLA (same as Social Security and CSRS). The FERS COLA is as follows: if the increase in the CPI is 2 perc...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Oct 04, 2019 5:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First car for child
Replies: 129
Views: 8297

Re: First car for child

Whatever beater the kid can afford to buy with their own money? That was how it worked in my family and among our peers. Apparently things are different now, from what I'm told. :| ETA: Just checked a CPI calculator, and my first car would cost $880 today. Yes, that is exactly how it should work! A...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu Aug 29, 2019 3:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can you use a graduate stipend to contribute to a 403b?
Replies: 7
Views: 259

Re: Can you use a graduate stipend to contribute to a 403b?

If it is subject to tax and to social security, yes, you can defer taxes and contribute to a TAX DEFERRED retirement plan, 403(b), IRA, or you can PAY THE TAX and contribute to a ROTH IRA. ROTH might be the best investment if you are in a very low federal tax bracket. If it is not subject to tax and...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA
Replies: 15
Views: 1439

Re: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA

If your wife is using military treatment facilities (MTF) for healthcare, Fort Belvoir Community Hospital (formerly Dewitt) is among the best facilities I have utilized (been utilizing military healthcare since 1970). Aged out of MTF when Medicare started, but still use Belvoir for pharmacy (their D...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Jun 04, 2019 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA
Replies: 15
Views: 1439

Re: Relocating to Ft Belvoir, VA

I'm familiar with that complex, a friend of mine owns a townhouse there. You are not going to do any better if you want to live close to both your jobs. On the other hand, I do hope you can get base housing on Belvoir. Also, be sure to pay Fairfax County $23/year for the County windshield stickers f...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019
Replies: 126
Views: 11274

Re: How did you all do in the month of May, 2019

MAY 2019 down 2.6%, 65% equities, 35% stable assets.

DEC 2018 was down 5.2% with same asset allocation.

Like previous poster, I check every month, just for information.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Mon May 13, 2019 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FERS-Military Buyback and Early Retirement
Replies: 8
Views: 666

Re: FERS-Military Buyback and Early Retirement

Yes, buy it back! It is the best double-dip you will ever be offered. The active duty time you "buy back" will count toward your FERS service. It will also continue to count for your reserve retirement, which is going to be significant with the amount of active duty you have. Just let your agency se...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat May 11, 2019 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Use 8.1 % of assets for12.5 monthly income?
Replies: 21
Views: 2084

Re: Use 8.1 % of assets for12.5 monthly income?

I think you have identified a very logical tactic, as long as it is a single premium immediate annuity (SPIA) from a highly rated insurance company. Will you use after-tax (savings, taxable investments) or pre-tax (IRA, 401K) assets to purchase the annuity? If you use after-tax assets, the first 15 ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu May 09, 2019 9:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX as cash
Replies: 38
Views: 5969

Re: VMMXX as cash

For you VUSXX is worth even more.

You will only pay Federal tax on your VUSXX dividends.

I will leave it to the tax-aficionados to do the math.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu May 09, 2019 9:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: VMMXX as cash
Replies: 38
Views: 5969

VUSXX (Treasury Money Market Fund) is not subject to State tax

Another consideration:

In addition to being the safest Vanguard MMF, VUSXX (Treasury Money Market Fund) yield is not subject to state tax.

For us, with a marginal state tax rate of 5.75%, VUSXX produces the same effective yield as VMMXX.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri May 03, 2019 8:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Estimating the rate of return on Social Security
Replies: 34
Views: 2912

Re: Estimating the rate of return on Social Security

I receive Social Security OASDI (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) as an old age annuitant. My payments to OASDI began when I was still in high school, my payout began 45 years later. I ran the numbers to determine the "pivot point." It is 5.38%. If every dollar I had paid in was invested...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Tax Income Question
Replies: 12
Views: 747

Re: Roth IRA Tax Income Question

The funds must be deposited in your Roth account by April 15. If you initiate the transactions this weekend, they should appear in your Roth on Monday, April 15. It is important that the 2018 Roth contributions appear in your Roth account by close of business April 15, 2019. It may be several days l...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Apr 12, 2019 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth IRA Tax Income Question
Replies: 12
Views: 747

Re: Roth IRA Tax Income Question

If you are married filing jointly, and either of you has W-2 income of at least $11,000, then you can each contribute $5,500 to a Roth. Only question remaining is, can you do it such that you meet the April 15 deadline for 2018 contributions? Good luck in your endeavors! You are wise to be doing thi...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat Mar 09, 2019 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: TSP in Retirement
Replies: 41
Views: 4285

Re: TSP in Retirement

I am also retired military and civil service. Standard advice to all, both young and old, who have TSP investments - NEVER LEAVE TSP ENTIRELY! Most important reason is the G Fund, which is found nowhere else. Yes, stable value funds and money market funds exist, but the G Fund is unique. I will leav...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacing tires on AWD cars do you have to do all 4
Replies: 83
Views: 4281

Re: replacing tires on AWD cars do you have to do all 4

I have not seen any evidence that Subaru transmissions are designed to fail, under any circumstances.

Nor have I seen any evidence that their transfer case or differential is "designed to fail."
by Dontridetheindexdown
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacing tires on AWD cars do you have to do all 4
Replies: 83
Views: 4281

Re: replacing tires on AWD cars do you have to do all 4

Yes, as a matter of fact I do. My wife drives a Subaru Forester, Symmetrical All-wheel Drive. I have read and mostly memorized the Subaru factory service manuals. There is no engineer working today at Subaru with as much experience as I have. In Japan, there are extremely strict age restrictions on ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Wed Feb 06, 2019 9:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: replacing tires on AWD cars do you have to do all 4
Replies: 83
Views: 4281

DIFFERENTIALS & TRANSFER CASE

For what it's worth: 1. Left and right tires on each axle turn at different speeds. That is why we have a "differential" on each drive axle. If you remove the differential cover, you will see a spider gear (4 helical-cut gears) that allow the left and right wheels to turn at at different speeds, inc...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best Vanguard funds to include in a Vanguard 401k
Replies: 19
Views: 2945

Re: Best Vanguard funds to include in a Vanguard 401k

VBTLX and VTSAX are the only 2 funds you really need.

As the apocryphal sage Hillel is reputed to have said, "All the rest is commentary."
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:42 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I put another $5500 in the Market on January first for my ROTH IRA?
Replies: 29
Views: 3766

Re: Should I put another $5500 in the Market on January first for my ROTH IRA?

Yes, for sure!

We will invest $7,000 each ($14,000 total) on 02 JAN 19, in common stock!

This may be the best buying opportunity in a long time.

We prefer large-cap high-dividend stocks (at 10-year low prices), but you should invest in whatever is most comfortable for you!
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu Dec 13, 2018 2:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio for a military lifer, too conservative?!?
Replies: 27
Views: 2793

Re: Portfolio for a military lifer, too conservative?!?

I retired from military service in 1991, and retired from civilian employment in 2007 (age 56). Your investment plan and asset allocation are excellent, and you have received excellent advice for investments going forward. This reply addresses your opportunity to serve 5 additional years, for cash b...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Dec 11, 2018 8:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?
Replies: 309
Views: 24295

Re: What percentage of your net worth is your home equity?

Fully paid for, 4.3% of total net worth, 4.5% of liquid net worth.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:05 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with a small TSP balance?
Replies: 4
Views: 300

Re: What to do with a small TSP balance?

My advice, based on experience, KEEP IT OPEN. In a situation analogous to yours, we transferred a significant sum into the G Fund a few years ago. We plan to do so again in a few years. Our strategy, over many years, has been to realize and lock in our gains! There are certain aspects of the TSP tha...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard brokerage automatic reinvestment price
Replies: 11
Views: 1750

Re: Vanguard brokerage automatic reinvestment price

We hold the same few equities with several different firms. Whether they reinvest at opening price, closing price, or average daily traded price does not matter. Every time they reinvest, I track the range of reinvestment prices - they do vary between firms, based on daily price fluctuations. Howeve...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: I spend 6.1% of my Gross income on rent
Replies: 80
Views: 13413

Re: I spend 6.1% of my Gross income on rent

House and land = 4% of net worth.

Utilities, tax, insurance = <3% of gross income.

LCOL area 18 miles from edge of HCOL area.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Wed May 24, 2017 8:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I drink or sell my Pappy 12 year?
Replies: 74
Views: 14064

Re: Should I drink or sell my Pappy 12 year?

Here is the data, maybe the quants will weigh in. Van Winkle Variety MSRP on Van Winkle site Average Retail Pricing Old Rip Van Winkle 10 Year $59.99 $559 Van Winkle Special Reserve $69.99 $681 Pappy Van Winkle 15 Year $99.99 $1,413 Pappy Van Winkle 20 Year $169.99 $2,001 Pappy Van Winkle 23 Year $2...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat May 06, 2017 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Federal job, "military time buyback" for pension
Replies: 22
Views: 2941

Just pay the 6K and don't look back

Been there done that, just pay the 6K and don't look back. It is the best investment you will ever make, and it is not worth trying to time it - just pay it using payroll deductions. Then work toward maxing out your traditional TSP to reduce taxable income, and also fund a ROTH outside the TSP. TSP ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Place to Park Over $1m in Cash
Replies: 28
Views: 4734

Re: Best Place to Park Over $1m in Cash

VBIRX - Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: suggestions for short term bond fund
Replies: 4
Views: 776

Re: VBIRX

The most successful people I know use VBIRX - low risk, low volatility, sleep well at night.

If indeed you are in the highest tax bracket, rate of return is far less important than safety and liquidity, especially for short-term bonds.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?
Replies: 70
Views: 8247

Re: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?

Among other things, I was also educated in the social sciences, and in policy analysis. Years ago, we could use education level and income level as essentially equivalent inputs for analysis. That is, for a given outcome, we could use education or income interchangeably, and the model produced essen...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to start - converting from generator/UPS to more reasonable solar / powerwall?
Replies: 70
Views: 8247

You have a 460 Ford V-8 in that genset, keep it forever!

You have a 460 Ford V-8 in that genset, keep it forever! It is capable of supplying 60% of your utility power at full generator load. At partial load, it does not use any more fuel than a smaller genset. Also, a gaseous fueled genset can run at low load or partial load forever - it will not "carbon ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:46 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Never-Ending Foreign Tax Credit Problem
Replies: 42
Views: 6322

Simple Solution

We hold all foreign investments in taxable accounts, as direct shareholders.

All foreign investments are in countries that have reciprocal tax agreements with the U.S., e.g. UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland.

Every dollar of foreign tax withheld is used to offset our U.S. tax liability.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Jan 03, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tracking mileage with non-working odometer
Replies: 19
Views: 1671

Download DigiHUD to an old cellphone

Download DigiHUD to an old cellphone, now you have odometer, trip odometer, speedometer, maximum speed, average speed, etc.

Free, easy, and excellent documentation
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sun Jan 01, 2017 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement; Time value of drawing a pension at 20 years
Replies: 27
Views: 4263

Re: Military Retirement; Time value of drawing a pension at 20 years

As a military retiree, I can assure you it is not about the money. You will earn a lot more money between now and the end - you can never get back the time. I took military retirement at 20+ years (make sure you go over 20 by at least a couple of months, they will comb your records for interrupted s...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sun Sep 04, 2016 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buy, sell or hold Caterpillar?
Replies: 29
Views: 4145

Re: Buy, sell or hold Caterpillar?

I agree 100% with tampaite, the previous poster. $18K annual dividend to reinvest quarterly, and most likely well under $180K cost basis, you are receiving 10% ROI. Caterpillar has paid a dividend every year since 1925, quarterly dividends since 1933. All those server farms (Amazon, Facebook, Google...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Military Retirement/Pension vs. Higher Income
Replies: 18
Views: 2711

Been there, done that, would do it again!

Everyone, regardless of rate or rank, thinks seriously about getting out half-way through. I am thankful every day for the man who prevented me from getting out with 10 years to go. Back in those days, our military was a lot more hands-on. First, do the math. Your non-contributory defined benefit wi...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMD Strategy
Replies: 12
Views: 2277

RMDs are based on the balance at the END of each year, not the beginning!

RMDs are based on the balance at the END of each year, not the beginning!
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMD Strategy
Replies: 12
Views: 2277

Excellent Strategy!

That is an excellent strategy! In my opinion (10 years retired) Vanguard Intermediate-Term Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBILX), which you cited, and Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares (VBIRX), which I consider to be an inflation-adjusted cash-equivalent, are 2 of the most overlook...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years
Replies: 113
Views: 23536

Re: Retirement: Where $200K Will Last 30 Years

There are many areas in the United States where "$200k + social security" will last forever, without the political and social risks endemic to the rest of the world. In addition, within the United States, you will be covered by Medicare after you reach age 65. Note well: Medicare does not cover you ...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat Aug 20, 2016 9:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Something better place to park my cash??
Replies: 16
Views: 3149

Re: Something better place to park my cash??

VBIRX - Vanguard Short-Term Bond Index Fund Admiral Shares, 1.07% SEC yield, 2.16% total 12 month return.

We have used it as a "cash equivalent" for many years.
by Dontridetheindexdown
Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need to keep my private disability and life insurance?
Replies: 5
Views: 1297

Re: Do I need to keep my private disability and life insurance?

The private life insurance appears to be a very good deal - low premium, high payout. The private disability insurance may not be all it appears to be. Typically, the highest disability insurance you can receive is 60% of base salary, and the insurer will reduce payout if you are receiving other dis...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Mon Jul 25, 2016 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?
Replies: 140
Views: 16070

Re: Any retirees here who have been life-long renters?

Yes, rented until 50 years old. We both had traveling careers. Our home, on a rural acreage, represents a very small percent of our investments. It is a wonderful place to live, and we hope to remain here until the end. However, it does demand attention to detail - maintenance of buildings and infra...
by Dontridetheindexdown
Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:54 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inexpensive, reasonably comfortable/durable sunglasses
Replies: 14
Views: 2759

Go to a welding supplier

They sell "sun glasses" for oxyacetylene cutting for less than $10. They are totally cool looking, because the young guys will not wear traditional goggles, they insist on the "sunglasses." They guard against harmful rays, and they are also impact resistant. They are available in several darkness le...