Search found 2352 matches

by SGM
Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Replies: 2616
Views: 833789

Re: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI

I just read in one sitting Ethan Frome. I noticed today that it was listed twice in the thread ... Books not to read . The main character is a depressed person and novel has a depressing ending. We recently visited The Mount.. the home built by the author Edith Wharton and previously I had only read...
by SGM
Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Relative angry I will not co-sign
Replies: 90
Views: 8178

Re: Relative angry I will not co-sign

You made the correct decision. Do not cosign a loan with anyone. You will become responsible for the loan. The relative should learn responsibility. You are actually helping the relative by not cosigning the loan.
by SGM
Tue Aug 29, 2017 4:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Sitting on the sidelines...for now
Replies: 32
Views: 3847

Re: Sitting on the sidelines...for now

It is unlikely you will keep up with inflation with bond funds or CDs. In an IRA I would invest in the total bond fund and maybe add some intermediate corporate bond fund. I have added some non-brokered CDs for an elderly relative as part of his non stock allocation. We have seen quite a few people ...
by SGM
Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Vanguard bond fund for taxable account?
Replies: 18
Views: 2679

Re: Which Vanguard bond fund for taxable account?

Jonathan Clements thinks that nearly all of us should not use muni bonds. I disagree with him and find that in retirement I have a lot of taxable income including pension, annuities, spousal SS, rents, capital gains, stock dividends and muni bond interest. Muni bonds decrease my taxable federal inco...
by SGM
Sat Aug 26, 2017 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion of Previous 401 K
Replies: 17
Views: 1095

Re: Roth Conversion of Previous 401 K

With two physicians in the family you may have higher income in retirement especially after your start RMDs at 70 1/2. I would consider converting all or most of the 401k now when your income is lower. I think you will have to roll it over into a traditional IRA first if that is allowed by your plan...
by SGM
Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to keep taxable acct solely in VTSAX?
Replies: 20
Views: 3300

Re: Bad to keep taxable acct solely in VTSAX?

Rolling over your tIRAs to a 401k plan is a simple solution to allow for back door Roth conversions without any tax consequence to speak of. Consideration of Roth conversions while being in a high tax bracket is a more complicated question. I converted all my tax deferred accounts to Roth accounts ...
by SGM
Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad to keep taxable acct solely in VTSAX?
Replies: 20
Views: 3300

Re: Bad to keep taxable acct solely in VTSAX?

Rolling over your tIRAs to a 401k plan is a simple solution to allow for back door Roth conversions without any tax consequence to speak of. Consideration of Roth conversions while being in a high tax bracket is a more complicated question. I converted all my tax deferred accounts to Roth accounts o...
by SGM
Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Japanese Bubble Burst 1989
Replies: 78
Views: 7383

Re: Japanese Bubble Burst 1989

I have loaned my copy of The Devil Takes the Hindmost, a book on speculative bubbles, which elaborated on the role of astronomical Tokyo real estate in the Japanese bubble. Stock valuations were not based on profits but on the value of the real estate owned by companies.
by SGM
Sun Aug 20, 2017 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3015
Views: 882284

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

Maudie and The Big Sick are both excellent.
by SGM
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:08 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Adjusting AA as retirement nears
Replies: 64
Views: 6972

Re: Adjusting AA as retirement nears

I use the convention stock/bonds when discussing AA. Stocks have been hyped over the years to be considered safe over the long run. This is only somewhat true. Stocks can be quite risky especially early in retirement. Important questions include how flexible you are regarding your expenses, and what...
by SGM
Fri Aug 18, 2017 3:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Lost $7000 today in ONE DAY!
Replies: 183
Views: 16222

Re: Lost $7000 today in ONE DAY!

My advice to an investor far from retirement is to continue buying according to your AA on a regular basis. I rarely looked at my portfolio when the market was down. A young person should like lower valuations while accumulating for retirement. You get more shares with each purchase and with reinves...
by SGM
Tue Aug 15, 2017 3:33 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife 1m to vanguard
Replies: 10
Views: 2404

Re: Wife 1m to vanguard

If your wife moves $1 million to Vanguard she would be a Flagship client and qualifies for a free plan from a Vanguard financial planner.
by SGM
Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRA withdrawal tax aConsider couple on Medicare and over 70.5 years of age. They must take RMDsnd Medicare implications
Replies: 13
Views: 1201

Re: IRA withdrawal tax aConsider couple on Medicare and over 70.5 years of age. They must take RMDsnd Medicare implicat

We did our conversions prior to age 70 1/2. I also did it while working part time or while retired. You cannot convert the RMDs, but you can convert additional withdrawals after age 70 1/2. We like how we lowered our taxable income by paying taxes out of a taxable account. I feel like a broken recor...
by SGM
Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:31 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Redfin
Replies: 17
Views: 1954

Re: Redfin

I just completed a long distance sale of a relative's home with Redfin. We had a good experience with the Redfin agent. The house had multiple offers. It was nice having lower fees. We used the law firm that the Redfin agent had been using and the lawyers fee was discounted and predetermined. The la...
by SGM
Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Investing Education and Mansplaining
Replies: 128
Views: 8600

Re: Investing Education and Mansplaining

I haven't had time to read all the posts. Dadsplaining is a problem I have tried to avoid with my own children. The solution may be to let Vanguard deal with it at 0.3% for the advice. When they learn enough maybe they can do the financial management on their own.
by SGM
Wed Aug 09, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?
Replies: 3015
Views: 882284

Re: What Movie Have You Recently Watched?

1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty. 3 actors nominated for best actor... Charles Laughton, Franchot Tone, and Clark Gable. Having 3 nominations from one film for best actor was embarrassing to the academy. Franchot Tone is credited with the academy's decision to set up a best supporting actor cate...
by SGM
Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion - Math check
Replies: 22
Views: 1582

Re: Roth Conversion - Math check

When I was working part-time and making conversions, I also continued to add to a traditional 401k and taxes came out of cash on hand mostly. When I stopped working and made conversions the taxes came out of a taxable account. At no time did our purchasing power decrease. I also considered this as a...
by SGM
Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on transferring banks for relocating 90+ year old grandmother
Replies: 10
Views: 788

Re: Advice on transferring banks for relocating 90+ year old grandmother

We recently moved funds to a local branch of a federal credit union for an elderly relative. I am the POA. We also use Vanguard for him. Forms had to be notarized at our local bank. We needed to notify Medicare, social security, pension, and pharmacy. We also had to close out utilities and other ser...
by SGM
Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "National Parks senior passes in short supply."
Replies: 34
Views: 3745

Re: "National Parks senior passes in short supply."

Everyone I know has bought the senior passes at a national park or at a national historic site. It would not have occurred to me to purchase one any other way as we are close to several historic sites and a park. We happily use the card several times a year. At one park many people drive to an unpav...
by SGM
Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Creating Multiple Streams of Income
Replies: 12
Views: 2131

Re: Creating Multiple Streams of Income

Delayed SS- not yet taking Spousal SS Rental income- multiple types including farming TIAA-CREF var annuity....the only variable annuity we like... associated with a university job many years ago. Dividends, interest pension considering single premium immediate annuities laddered over several years ...
by SGM
Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:08 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Roth conversion in a high tax bracket?
Replies: 21
Views: 1882

Re: Roth conversion in a high tax bracket?

I converted all my tax deferred accounts to Roth accounts over a period of 5 years as I expected to have high taxes in retirement. With RMDs my taxes may actually have been higher in retirement. I am enjoying having somewhat lower taxable dividends each year since I started conversions. Even so my t...
by SGM
Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: NYT Carl Richards "You’re No Coward if You’re Keeping Some Money Out of Stocks"
Replies: 42
Views: 5273

Re: NYT Carl Richards "You’re No Coward if You’re Keeping Some Money Out of Stocks"

I read about Carl Richards' loss of his house when the article first came out. His earlier article indicates to me he is a bit foolish about his personal spending and following the crowd. Thanks for the reminder about how foolish FAs can be. My strategy early in the accumulation phase was to be enti...
by SGM
Sat Jul 29, 2017 3:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is this advice as reprehensible as I think it is?
Replies: 32
Views: 5343

Re: Is this advice as reprehensible as I think it is?

We just had dinner with a couple who waxed poetic on and on about their FA yet could not explain how he gets reimbursed. :oops: "If God didn't want them fleeced he wouldn't have made them sheep". I am aware there are many who think it is not wise to pay off your mortgage early. I happily paid mine o...
by SGM
Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Characteristics of Physicians
Replies: 24
Views: 2282

Re: Financial Characteristics of Physicians

I worked solo and had only one employed family members. Additional help was paid for by others and I had a few very intelligent dedicated volunteers who were retired nurses. Setting up a solo 401k at a low cost brokerage company was free and easy to do. I could choose from any stocks or ETFs. If I w...
by SGM
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Financial Characteristics of Physicians
Replies: 24
Views: 2282

Re: Financial Characteristics of Physicians

I tried to spread the gospel a little bit by referring others to the WCI and to this site. Very few to none of the physicians had any interest in low cost investing. One had almost no savings at age 60+. Others were with advisors and many had no idea how much their advisors were costing them. Many a...
by SGM
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Living Off Dividends
Replies: 285
Views: 22508

Re: Living Off Dividends

It is entirely possible to retire and live off of dividends. This means something like a 2.5% withdrawal rate which would likely last a lifetime as a 4% withdrawal rate is often considered safe in retirement. The portfolio would need to be large or living expenses low. The total return may be less t...
by SGM
Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay yourself first.
Replies: 43
Views: 4125

Re: Pay yourself first.

Paying yourself first was easy with deductions for 401ks when I was working. In January I always funded an IRA and a spousal IRA. The rest of my taxable income went into a brokerage account first. I always kept a little in the bank for ongoing expenses. My emergency account was part of my investment...
by SGM
Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do you find financial advisors to be all that bright?
Replies: 53
Views: 5148

Re: Do you find financial advisors to be all that bright?

It strikes me that the financial advisors are a mixed breed. I have spoken with a few BH authors who have given plenty of good advice. A local FA at a bank who is somewhat of a life coach for an irresponsible relative is well educated and probably over qualified for the position. When I walked into ...
by SGM
Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Roth Conversion Help
Replies: 5
Views: 615

Re: Roth Conversion Help

Did you have deductible or non-deductible traditional IRAs? This makes a difference and you would use a form 8606 if you had non-deductible IRAs. It is important to consider your tax bracket now vs. when you will start spending your IRAs in retirement. Consider just the amount involved in the conver...
by SGM
Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:20 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a second home in The NC mountains?
Replies: 25
Views: 3130

Re: Anyone have a second home in The NC mountains?

Years ago we stayed with friends on a mountaintop family compound in the NC mountains. It was beautiful and cooler than the surrounding lowlands. The patriarch could have picked anyplace to build a summer retreat for his extended family and chose this area.
by SGM
Sat Jul 15, 2017 3:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Comprehension
Replies: 7
Views: 794

Re: Financial Comprehension

Apparently there is a debate about the effectiveness of financial literacy. This has become more important since the demise of defined benefit plans. I don't think the author invented the term financial comprehension. I learned all I needed to know about financial comprehension and behavior that ind...
by SGM
Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas
Replies: 36
Views: 2472

Re: Outside Pittsburgh short trip ideas

I have been to Kennywood many times. Several of my relatives have worked there in the summers including one who screamed in fear while being chased by Harpo Marx. On trips back from Pittsburgh we occasionally stopped at Fort Necessity which was used in the French and Indian War and at General Braddo...
by SGM
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:30 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Financial Comprehension
Replies: 7
Views: 794

Re: Financial Comprehension

I didn't read the interview, but I have read Statman's recent book. He points out that men in all countries score higher than women in financial literacy, however they may not have increased financial comprehension or behavior exhibiting financial comprehension. Men, on average, are more confident t...
by SGM
Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:59 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?
Replies: 117
Views: 7778

Re: Do you consider business travel to be a perk or a burden?

I really enjoyed business travel when I was young and childless. When you have a family, it's a burden. Agree. I traveled to some interesting places throughout the world. I always ate well and traveled business and first class overseas. I racked up frequent flier miles and occasionally I had long t...
by SGM
Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:36 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?
Replies: 203
Views: 10694

Re: Do you count vehicle equity in net worth?

I don't calculate net worth. If I did calculate net worth it would include portfolio and real estate. I would not add in an estimate of the net present value of income streams or add in personal items.
by SGM
Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family member fleecing Alzheimers victim
Replies: 26
Views: 5033

Re: Family member fleecing Alzheimers victim

As a veteran, he may be eligible for the "Aid & Attendance" benefit. https://www.veteranaid.org/faq.php You must be basically without financial resources, but unlike medicaid, divestment of them can occur right up until the time of application. I don't know about spousal assets tho. And I've been t...
by SGM
Tue Jul 11, 2017 4:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1674

Re: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS

Another friend of mine who is married claimed her own benefit at age 70 after claiming a spousal benefit for the last two years. She did not have the difficulty of anyone insisting she take a retroactive payment or even mentioning it. I have a thought that maybe the SS agent assumed that the divorce...
by SGM
Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:11 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insuring LTC
Replies: 15
Views: 1487

Re: Self insuring LTC

I use the term self insuring although it may not be technically correct, there is no additional value to call it self funding in my book. We do not segregate any money earmarked for LTC. We look for total return and have saved steadily and had good incomes while working. I have significant experienc...
by SGM
Mon Jul 10, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS
Replies: 13
Views: 1674

Beware of retroactive payments when claiming SS

The wiki and other posts have discussed the possibility of receiving a 6 month lump sum when your intention is to file at 70 and get a lower monthly payment. Several months ago I warned a close friend turning 70 about the problem. She was not able to get a timely meeting with a SS agent. As she was ...
by SGM
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coyote control
Replies: 66
Views: 4728

Re: Coyote control

We have coyotes on a farm. We don't like to use traps or poison. If you could protect other animals from traps or poison then you might try it. Our bow hunters have killed coyotes with arrows. We prefer to shoot coyotes with rifles. Do not hesitate to kill coyote pups if you find a nesting area. The...
by SGM
Sun Jul 09, 2017 4:40 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?
Replies: 77
Views: 6599

Re: Weak Evidence for International in Vanguard Research - Am I Missing Something?

Many Vanguard employees are following the lead of Bill McNabb who has stated that owning international decreases risk. He prefers exposure to developed and emerging markets. He makes a case for owning both Ford and Toyota and for buying the whole haystack in a recent blog. I agree there is more curr...
by SGM
Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does anyone use ANNUITIES for SOME of their retirement funds?
Replies: 61
Views: 4508

Re: Does anyone use ANNUITIES for SOME of their retirement funds?

I could have taken a pension as a lump sum and chose to take it as an annuity. DW had the choice of rolling over her TIAA-CREF account to an IRA and chose to annuitize it instead. I consider SS an annuity and chose to delay it until age 70 as delay compared favorably to annuities available in the fr...
by SGM
Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Accounting for Dividends in Safe Withdrawal Rate
Replies: 42
Views: 2750

Re: Accounting for Dividends in Safe Withdrawal Rate

Dividends are part of total return. If you only spend your dividends in retirement you will be unlikely to run out of money. I would not pursue high dividends as they are not as tax efficient as "homemade" dividends. Pretty much I spend dividends and muni bond interest in retirement plus whatever ou...
by SGM
Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividend Misunderstandings & Only Spend Return
Replies: 282
Views: 16618

Re: Dividend Misunderstandings & Only Spend Return

I pretty much only spend dividends in my taxable accounts because I don't usually need any "homemade" dividends to cover my expenses most of the time. The dividends are already taxable. The taxation is less than unqualified dividends that mostly are in my Roth. I don't have any choice but to have di...
by SGM
Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dividend Misunderstandings & Only Spend Return
Replies: 282
Views: 16618

Re: Dividend Misunderstandings & Only Spend Return

When I sell a stock or stock fund with a loss I get a deduction. When I sell a stock or a stock fund with a gain I only pay taxes on the gain. So homemade dividends increase my wealth over company paid dividend via lower taxes. If I have $1000 in dividends I pay $200 in taxes at the 20% rate. If I s...
by SGM
Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?
Replies: 156
Views: 11412

Re: Long term care insurance - is it worth it?

Those who have LTCI tend to be in LTC for longer periods than predicted. Actuaries have failed to account sufficiently for moral hazard according to recent research. Last year at a retirement research conference, we were told that even after the recent increase in premiums the costs to the insurance...
by SGM
Mon Jul 03, 2017 3:57 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are Annuities A Worthwhile Retirement Investment?
Replies: 52
Views: 5796

Re: Are Annuities A Worthwhile Retirement Investment?

When doing a financial plan with Vanguard a few years ago, I asked about expanding my tax deferred space by purchasing a variable annuity and was told it would just add an additional layer of expense. Delaying SS is less expensive than purchasing an annuity for the same amount of additional income. ...
by SGM
Sat Jul 01, 2017 4:28 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Time in the market is more important, But seriously ?
Replies: 60
Views: 7970

Re: Time in the market is more important, But seriously ?

Some investors have excessive fear of future regret. If dollar cost averaging allows you to put some of your assets in the market then use it. Rationally, one is likely to do better if the lump sum method is used. DCA gives the illusion of decreasing risk. The market is not any less risky if you use...
by SGM
Fri Jun 30, 2017 4:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: When to start taking Social Security for 64 year old
Replies: 26
Views: 2153

Re: When to start taking Social Security for 64 year old

It sounds like he will be in a low tax bracket until he takes RMDs at 70 1/2. Can he convert some traditional IRAs to a Roth in the meantime? Delay of SS is even more valuable if you are in a low tax bracket. A maximum of 85% of SS is taxed but some have 50% or less taxed. Also SS is adjusted for in...
by SGM
Fri Jun 30, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Chances of delaying Social Security to age 70. Realistic?
Replies: 54
Views: 4385

Re: Chances of delaying Social Security to age 70. Realistic?

When one spouse dies the other gets the higher of the two benefits. That is the main reason I as the higher earner delayed until 70. When comparing delaying SS to a single premium immediate annuity SS delay is a much better deal. SS is adjusted for inflation and a maximum of 85% of it is taxed. Some...