Search found 384 matches

by John151
Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: State retirement pensions thoughts?
Replies: 36
Views: 3745

Re: State retirement pensions thoughts?

I collect a pension from the state of Illinois, which has one of the most underfunded pension systems in the nation. The state government tried to reduce its obligations by cutting the COLA, but the state supreme court ruled that state retirees’ benefits are protected by the state constitution, whic...
by John151
Sun Nov 11, 2018 4:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing taxes by hand
Replies: 83
Views: 4834

Re: Doing taxes by hand

I did my taxes by hand from the 1970’s into the late 1990’s. It was easy, because my taxes were fairly simple: salary, interest, dividends, and occasionally a capital gain or loss. I switched to TurboTax when Vanguard offered it at a discount or for free, depending on how much you had invested in Va...
by John151
Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much is too much in savings account?
Replies: 17
Views: 3750

Re: How much is too much in savings account?

I like to keep five percent of my investments in cash, defined as a savings account, a money market fund, or short term CD’s. That’s my emergency fund, and it also serves as ballast when stocks and bonds decline. With today’s rising interest rates, bond funds can drop in value, but cash doesn’t drop...
by John151
Wed Nov 07, 2018 12:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FreeTaxUSA.com now has 2018 Return available.
Replies: 32
Views: 3307

Re: FreeTaxUSA.com now has 2018 Return available.

Does FreeTaxUSA support 1099 imports from Vanguard, Schwab and Merrill Edge? It didn’t last year, but if you have electronic copies of your investment information, it’s easy to copy and paste. And FreeTaxUSA easily handled my capital loss carryover, my Form 8606, and my foreign tax credit. I was ha...
by John151
Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: anybody sell I Bonds to buy something else?
Replies: 38
Views: 3603

Re: anybody sell I Bonds to buy something else?

I haven’t sold any I Bonds, but I stopped buying them about ten years ago, when the fixed rate dropped below one percent. I’ve been investing in a tax-exempt bond fund instead.
by John151
Wed Oct 10, 2018 1:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 1906

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

When she asks me if she should put more into stocks, I ask her how much she has in stocks already—not the dollar amount, just the percentage of her assets—and she’s vague about that, saying that she has “very little” or “not a lot" in stocks. I don’t know whether she thinks how much she has in stock...
by John151
Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 1906

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

She’s a widow with two children who live out of state. I’ve encouraged her to talk to her children about her investments, since her children have a stake in what she does financially. One of her children isn’t at all interested. The other gave her a list of stocks to buy, most of which I’d never hea...
by John151
Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 1906

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

Great suggestion! I have the impression that my friend is pretty well off. I think she’s just trying to squeeze the last nickel out of her investments, without really needing to.
by John151
Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:09 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 1906

Re: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

Many thanks to all of you for your advice. I don’t want to advise my friend to buy stocks in her nineties, and her aversion to investing online pretty much rules out Treasury Direct and online banks. She’s also averse to money market mutual funds. So I’ve scouted around and have found two local bank...
by John151
Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:05 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investment advice for a friend in her nineties
Replies: 22
Views: 1906

Investment advice for a friend in her nineties

I’ve inadvertently become someone’s investment adviser. A dear friend who’s in her nineties calls me up and asks me if this is a good time to buy stocks. I always tell her that I don’t know where the stock market is heading, and that anyone who claims to know is either lying, stupid, or crazy. She a...
by John151
Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: So who's rebalancing stocks to bonds right now?
Replies: 38
Views: 4667

Re: So who's rebalancing stocks to bonds right now?

My stock investments are all in taxable accounts, so I can’t rebalance within accounts that are tax-advantaged. Currently my stocks are about five percentage points above my target, but rebalancing by selling shares would cost me a hefty amount in capital gains taxes. So I’ve decided not to sell. I’...
by John151
Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Tax Managed International
Replies: 32
Views: 3285

Re: Tax Managed International

When I opened an account with Tax-Managed International back in 2011, all of my dividends were qualified. But now that the fund has morphed into Developed Markets Index, only 71% of my dividends are qualified, and the foreign tax credit has dropped as well. So I’m paying more in taxes than I was pay...
by John151
Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Emergency fund size
Replies: 72
Views: 6587

Re: Emergency fund size

I handle it somewhat differently. My preferred asset allocation is 5% in cash, 60% in bonds, and 35% in stocks. My cash allocation is my emergency fund. It’s invested in a money market fund, and it’s enough for me to live on for several years. It isn’t paying very much, but I like knowing that it’s ...
by John151
Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?
Replies: 52
Views: 5220

Re: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?

Vanguard offers a couple of inflation-linked bond funds: Vanguard Short Term Inflation Protected Securities (duration of 2.8 years) and Vanguard Inflation Protected Securities (duration of 7.8 years). Their net asset values fluctuate and are reported each weekday. I Bonds are more like a stable valu...
by John151
Fri Aug 24, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?
Replies: 52
Views: 5220

Re: Is Treasury Direct worth the hassle?

I’ve had a TD account for fifteen years, and I’ve never had a problem with it. The maximum purchase for I Bonds is $10,000 a year per social security number, and I’d invest more than that if I could.
by John151
Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees: Timing your withdrawals
Replies: 40
Views: 3840

Re: Retirees: Timing your withdrawals

I’m very fortunate in that my pension covers all of my usual living expenses. If I need to buy something major, like a new car, I can draw on my investments, but I seldom need to do that.
by John151
Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Money Market Funds vs. Online Banks
Replies: 38
Views: 3840

Money Market Funds vs. Online Banks

Now that Vanguard’s Prime Money Market Fund is paying around two percent, is there any reason to invest in savings accounts with online banks? Ally Bank’s online savings account is paying 1.80 percent.
by John151
Thu Aug 16, 2018 10:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What do you do with your interest from your ER fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 1091

Re: What do you do with your interest from your ER fund?

I think of my Vanguard money market fund as my emergency fund. My dividends are reinvested in it, and dividends from my tax-exempt bond fund and my two stock index funds are paid into it as well.
by John151
Fri Aug 10, 2018 2:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Have you rebalanced to bonds this year?
Replies: 25
Views: 2315

Re: Have you rebalanced to bonds this year?

I haven’t sold any stocks, but I’ve directed my investment income and any new money into a tax-exempt bond fund. This keeps me within my allocation bands.
by John151
Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Excellent Vanguard Service!
Replies: 8
Views: 1853

Re: Excellent Vanguard Service!

I’ve been investing with Vanguard for over thirty years, and I’ve never had a problem. Vanguard service, for me, has been great.
by John151
Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing
Replies: 84
Views: 12369

Re: Vanguard Precious Metals and Mining Fund is changing

sport wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:13 pm
I love Vanguard. However, when it comes to "staying the course", that is something they tell others to do, but do not follow themselves. I am still unhappy about the change to what used to be the Tax Managed International Fund. It is no longer tax managed, but I am locked in.
Me too.
by John151
Sun Jul 29, 2018 1:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Retirees: how much cash?
Replies: 61
Views: 6838

Re: Retirees: how much cash?

I’m a conservative retiree in my seventies. For many years I kept about 5% of my investments in cash, defined as my checking account and a money market fund. Then came the Great Recession. When the yield on my money market fund dropped to almost zero, I responded by moving money that I could have ke...
by John151
Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Your age in bonds?
Replies: 57
Views: 6900

Re: Your age in bonds?

I followed the “age in bonds” rule of thumb for many years, and that’s where I was when I retired. But with the huge run up in stocks, at seventy I now have 35% in stocks, and selling down to 30% would trigger major capital gains taxes. So I’ve decided to leave my stocks alone. My pension is more th...
by John151
Mon Jul 23, 2018 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 10105

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

Condo board members are usually well intentioned but often ill informed. My condo association’s primary governing document is called the Declaration. It’s forty pages long, and in the thirty years I’ve lived in my association, I may be the only unit owner who’s actually read it. The board members si...
by John151
Tue Jul 17, 2018 2:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: New Vanguard Security Code Requirement [2FA: Two-factor authentication]
Replies: 185
Views: 13998

Re: New Vanguard Security Code Requirement

I prefer Treasury Direct’s authentication method: they send you a one-time passcode via email. But Vanguard’s authentication method isn’t too bad. They offer you a choice: you can have them require authentication every time you login to your account, or just when you’re logging in from a different c...
by John151
Tue Jul 10, 2018 9:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 50
Views: 6179

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

A Vanguard money market fund. For backup, I have a tax-exempt bond fund.
by John151
Thu Jul 05, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What time do you get up in the morning?
Replies: 160
Views: 12975

Re: What time do you get up in the morning?

When I was working, I usually went to bed around 11 p.m. and got up at 7 a.m. Now that I’ve retired, I stay up until 3 a.m. and get up around 11 a.m. I’ve never been a morning person, so I sleep through most of it. Sleeping late is one of the best things about being retired.
by John151
Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Do you own just 5% of anything?
Replies: 65
Views: 5228

Re: Do you own just 5% of anything?

A Vanguard money market fund and a Vanguard international stock fund: about 5% in each.
by John151
Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasury Direct website down all day (7/1)
Replies: 23
Views: 2054

Re: Treasury Direct website down all day (7/1)

Today at noon Central Time I was able to login and see my bond values. I didn’t try to buy or sell anything.
by John151
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Treasury Direct website down all day (7/1)
Replies: 23
Views: 2054

Re: Treasury Direct website down all day (7/1)

At 8:52 pm Central Time, I entered my account number, my one-time passcode, and my password. TD then wanted me to verify my contact information. I did so. Then ten or fifteen seconds later, I got the “Treasury Direct is unavailable” message. I tried again ten minutes later with the same result.
by John151
Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What are your property taxes?
Replies: 212
Views: 14423

Re: What are your property taxes?

My Illinois condo is taxed at about 2% of estimated market value. There’s no cap on how high it can go. This year’s tax went up 12% to pay for improvements in local schools. State and local sales taxes are 9%. State income tax is 4.95%. Last year I spent more on federal, state, and local taxes than ...
by John151
Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?
Replies: 58
Views: 5487

Re: How much of your taxable holdings is unrealized capital gains?

My international stock index fund has almost doubled in value, and my domestic stock index fund has more than tripled, so about 50% of my investments in taxable accounts are unrealized capital gains. I don’t expect to sell any of my stock investments. My pension and investment income more than cover...
by John151
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: All Treasury Portfolio
Replies: 7
Views: 733

Re: All Treasury Portfolio

If your overriding goal is safety of principal, go for it. You’ll save a bit on taxes, since Treasury income generally isn’t subject to state income taxes. But I’d recommend that you keep your TIPS in a tax-advantaged account, because otherwise you’d have to pay federal income taxes each year on “ph...
by John151
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:47 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Bogleheads Are Better in the Morning
Replies: 13
Views: 3185

Bogleheads Are Better in the Morning

I usually login to Bogleheads around ten in the morning, and then again around ten in the evening. In the morning, I usually find ten or twelve posts that I want to read, but only two or three in the evening. Have you had a similar experience? Is it because most posts are posted in the morning? Or i...
by John151
Fri May 25, 2018 3:02 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: TIAA TRAD as Fixed Income in my AA?
Replies: 9
Views: 941

Re: TIAA TRAD as Fixed Income in my AA?

I wouldn’t want to have all of my fixed-income investments in TIAA Traditional, because it isn’t adjusted for inflation, and it isn’t backed by the federal government. But I have all of my 403(b) account in TIAA Traditional, and it makes up about 25% of my fixed income investments. The rest is in I ...
by John151
Tue May 15, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Forum Issues and Administration
Topic: The front page is ugly
Replies: 140
Views: 14044

Re: The front page is ugly

targ wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:59 am
Tamalak wrote:
Mon May 14, 2018 9:51 am
... All the OP is asking for is for the front page to be consistent with the professionalism of the sub-form pages. ...
Then might I suggest the OP load this as his bookmarked link:
www.bogleheads.org/forum/search.php?sea ... ive_topics
+1 That's what I use.
by John151
Tue May 08, 2018 3:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Percentage CASH are you?
Replies: 168
Views: 18820

Re: What Percentage CASH are you?

When interest rates were at rock bottom, I kept only about 1% of my investments in cash, defined as my Vanguard money market fund. I don’t own bank CD’s, and I count my I Bonds as “bonds.” Now that rates are rising, I’m working toward having 5% in cash, again in my money market fund. I consider it t...
by John151
Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?
Replies: 183
Views: 17122

Re: How much cash do you keep at any time on checking?

About three months’ worth of expenses. If I need more, I can draw on my Vanguard money market fund.
by John151
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:16 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 6
Views: 515

Re: Partial Tax Loss Harvesting

Would that be a problem if I’m using an average cost basis and there’s a loss overall?
by John151
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Partial Tax Loss Harvesting
Replies: 6
Views: 515

Partial Tax Loss Harvesting

I’ve harvested tax losses a number of times over the years. Sometimes I’ve sold all shares in a fund and then invested the proceeds in a similar but not substantially identical fund. Other times, I’ve sold all shares, put the proceeds in a money market fund, and then, thirty-one days later, reopened...
by John151
Sat Apr 21, 2018 1:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I Bonds - now or later in the year?
Replies: 17
Views: 3093

Re: I Bonds - now or later in the year?

On a $10,000 investment, changes in the fixed rate and the inflation rate are pretty negligible, so I buy the legal limit in January and then forget about it.
by John151
Fri Apr 20, 2018 6:23 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?
Replies: 44
Views: 6571

Re: Anyone invest in I Bonds and why?

I stopped buying I Bonds when the fixed rate dropped below one percent, but I’ve resumed buying them for all of the reasons listed above.
by John151
Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are you keeping more in cash?
Replies: 31
Views: 5213

Are you keeping more in cash?

I’m a conservative investor in my seventies. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, I routinely kept about five percent of my investments in cash, defined as my Vanguard money market fund. I don’t own any bank CD’s, and I count my I Bonds as “bonds.” When the yield on my money market fund dropped to 0...
by John151
Sat Apr 14, 2018 3:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Buy I-Bonds before May 1 or After?
Replies: 16
Views: 2072

Re: Buy I-Bonds before May 1 or After?

I've decided not to over-analyze it. For both I-Bonds and annual IRA contributions, I make all purchases in early January ($10,000 each for me and my husband for I-Bonds and $6,500 for each of us for IRA which is a tIRA >> Backdoor Roth). This way, I get these investments out of the way at the begi...
by John151
Wed Apr 11, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1
Replies: 36
Views: 5186

Re: I Bond’s Variable Rate Will Fall To 2.22% On May 1

On an investment of $10,000, changes in fixed rates and inflation rates are pretty negligible, so I buy the maximum in January and then forget about it.
by John151
Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:31 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirees: Who's increasing their equities as they age?
Replies: 74
Views: 6652

Re: Retirees: Who's increasing their equities as they age?

I’m seventy, and my equity exposure is increasing all by itself. The stock funds I’m invested in have doubled in value, and I’m currently about six percentage points above my allocation target for stocks. I could sell enough shares to get down to my target, but I’d have to pay substantial capital ga...
by John151
Wed Apr 04, 2018 5:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 6195

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

I'd like to thank all of you for your responses. I started filing with TurboTax when I qualified for free filing through Vanguard. When Vanguard dropped that benefit, I switched to TaxAct, and when TaxAct raised its prices, I switched to FreeTaxUSA. TurboTax offered the advantage of importing my inv...
by John151
Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you file your income taxes?
Replies: 77
Views: 6195

Re: How did you file your income taxes?

I asked this question last year and the year before that, and I thought I’d ask it again this year. How did you file your income taxes? Did you calculate your taxes manually? Did you use tax preparation software? Or did you have your taxes prepared by an accountant? In February, I calculated my 201...