Search found 194 matches

by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed
Replies: 21
Views: 2967

Re: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed

Also: Does anyone know how this would unwind if Grandma died tomorrow? I know that house would be sold to pay HELOC and any extra would pay off personal credit card debt. But what happens to the partnership real estate stake? Would the estate be forced to sell her partial stake to pay off the rest ...
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed
Replies: 21
Views: 2967

Re: Grandmother has Major Debt Issues - Help Needed

I suspect the best you can hope for is that grandma's creditors cancel her cards. They will do this if they determine that grandma's debt is too risky for them.
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 3 Fund Portfolio w/my 401k Options
Replies: 9
Views: 1867

Re: 3 Fund Portfolio w/my 401k Options

You've made fine choices. However, I would give the international stock thing another think. Bogleheads love international stock. Bogle himself says don't bother. You're paying 8 times the expenses on the international to get it over US only stock. In my mind, that merits further pondering and readi...
by cjcerny
Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What to do with $50K now and discretionary $7500/month going forward (please advise)
Replies: 25
Views: 4998

Re: What to do with $50K now and discretionary $7500/month going forward (please advise)

All that future cash needs to go into a taxable account, obviously. I would put all of it in VTSAX and then rearrange your tax advantaged accounts so that they contain the 10% bonds. If there's any room left over in the tax advantage accounts, go back to VTSAX. P.S. The expense ration on your Americ...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: My friend is hoarding cash. What do you say?
Replies: 78
Views: 11753

Re: My friend is hoarding cash. What do you say?

You say "My friend, your grasp on reality is tenuous."
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Portfolio advice - old man
Replies: 27
Views: 2966

Re: Portfolio advice - old man

Being Bogleheads, we prize low expenses and simplicity. If you want to stay with Fidelity, you can accomplish both by having a portfolio that consists of 50% Spartan Total Market Index Fund and 50% Spartan U.S. Bond Index Fund. I suspect the returns from that would be even better than what you are c...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 05, 2015 1:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Use the chip credit card in the US?
Replies: 20
Views: 2483

Re: Use the chip credit card in the US?

Most merchants are not yet required to use chip readers by their banks. They can optionally do so. The Oct. 1st date was an arbitrary date deemed by the credit card industry to demarcate who will be paying for the fraudulent use of credit cards. The responsibility for that now falls on the merchants...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 05, 2015 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is DIY Car maintenance that hard these days?
Replies: 51
Views: 5789

Re: Is DIY Car maintenance that hard these days?

I do the basics on my Toyota--oil change, coolant flush, air filters, brake pads, etc. If you catch a sale on these services, it isn't any less expensive to do them yourself. IMO, main advantage of doing them yourself is that you know they got done right and you can do them when you have the time, n...
by cjcerny
Thu Nov 05, 2015 7:48 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Friend wants to compare advisor to Vanguard, am I making the appropriate comparisons?
Replies: 19
Views: 1901

Re: Friend wants to compare advisor to Vanguard, am I making the appropriate comparisons?

I would just run those funds through a backtester to compare them. Obviously, backtesting isn't going to tell you what is going to happen going forward, but it's an easy place to start.
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 2:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Logic Check - Purpose of bonds in MY portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 5751

Re: Logic Check - Purpose of bonds in MY portfolio

If the level of volatility in your portfolio does not cause you any stress or cause you to constantly question or change your plan, then there isn't any reason to lower it. Just keep in mind that things might be different once you retire or experience a change in life circumstances. While you are wo...
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Approximating VTSAX in employer 401K?
Replies: 7
Views: 580

Re: Approximating VTSAX in employer 401K?

With those expenses, you should be asking yourself if you should be contributing anything to your plan or if you should be using an IRA or Roth IRA instead. That's very expensive, despite the fact that you've seen more expenses in other plans.
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 11:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is an ideal vehicle to handle a long commute?
Replies: 93
Views: 8362

Re: What is an ideal vehicle to handle a long commute?

I would not buy snow tires unless you find that a set of all season tires that performs well in the snow do not perform well enough. Try Michelin Defender for all season tires.
by cjcerny
Wed Sep 23, 2015 10:41 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help. Need Advice. Negative Rate of return on 401k and Roth IRA.
Replies: 33
Views: 13670

Re: Please help. Need Advice. Negative Rate of return on 401k and Roth IRA.

ROSC: Your original plan (buy international stocks and bonds down the road to go with your domestic stocks) is a fine plan. Just stick to it and you'll be fine--I promise. You'll have plenty of ups and downs over the years, but there will likely be many more up years. A target based plan is also a g...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: I'd like to start investing early - maybe too early?
Replies: 17
Views: 1619

Re: I'd like to start investing early - maybe too early?

Once you have regular income from a job and have the minimum $$ to open an account, I think you should just open a Roth IRA at Vanguard and start piling money into VTSMX. At 18, you won't need that money for a long time and don't need to worry about bonds just yet. Keep in mind that you will also be...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 22, 2015 5:56 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Using debit card(s) in France
Replies: 16
Views: 1726

Re: Using debit card(s) in France

Rick Steves is correct--using an ATM is as easy as pie in Europe. Make sure you know what your PIN NUMBER is--some folks remember it by the letters here in the US because their ATM usually has letters on the number keys too. I've never seen a European ATM that had letters on the PIN pad keys.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 18, 2015 10:07 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Talk me off the Ledge
Replies: 73
Views: 7856

Re: Talk me off the Ledge

Were you investing in late 2008 with the market totally tanked? What was your allocation then? Did you lose sleep over what happened? Try to remember how you felt back then and act accordingly now. Personally, we all have a different tolerance for risk, and that tolerance changes based on your life ...
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Complete Car Noob- Help Making First Vehicle Purchase
Replies: 72
Views: 8827

Re: Complete Car Noob- Help Making First Vehicle Purchase

Just buy a newer Accord if you like it. It's still a fine choice. Just be aware that a 1 or 2 year old Accord will probably set you back at least $18k or so.
by cjcerny
Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Considering Michelin Premier A/S tires for my Honda Accord. Any thoughts?
Replies: 33
Views: 23158

Re: Considering Michelin Premier A/S tires for my Honda Accord. Any thoughts?

Michelin Defender is a great tire in any weather. A/S might be similar.
by cjcerny
Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wellesley for next 20+ years in IRA?
Replies: 47
Views: 7664

Re: Wellesley for next 20+ years in IRA?

Wellesley is a fine conservative choice. If you want to index instead, something like 30% total stock market and 70% bond market will likely get you a very similar return and volatility at less than half the cost of Wellesley.
by cjcerny
Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:46 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 38yo Looking for advice in setting up from scratch
Replies: 9
Views: 1598

Re: 38yo Looking for advice in setting up from scratch

I would keep it real simple. Put all your bonds ($14400x.28) in your IRA. If there is any space left over in the IRA, fill it up with stock. Then, put the rest of the stock in your cash account. Rebalance the IRA yearly so the percentages are still correct. There isn't really any more sheltering you...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:43 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Car Recommendations
Replies: 85
Views: 9202

Re: Family Car Recommendations

Accord and Camry are really the way to go--especially if you buy a gently used 3 year old car. Subaru Forester is another option to consider. I don't think 4 wheel drive is really something you need. If you put a nice set of all-weather tires on (like the Michelin Defender), you'll get very good sno...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with inherited IRA investments
Replies: 17
Views: 1745

Re: Help with inherited IRA investments

Seems like the place to start would be to calculate what your expenses will be in retirement. If the pension and the retirement savings you have already (not including the inheritance) will cover your expenses, then you don't need to invest the inheritance for yourself and can be invested for your d...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:06 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?
Replies: 55
Views: 10950

Re: Everyone is saying to get out of Bond Funds? Ignore?

No Boglehead is going to tell you to get out of bonds, that's for sure. A Buffett-head might do that. The only other consideration to "getting out of bonds" is that there are other sources of income that could be considered to be "bonds" than traditional bonds. Keep in mind that bonds equate to stab...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 8:00 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: People who are tapping their retirement savings for living expenses need bonds
Replies: 32
Views: 3198

Re: News Flash: Retirees Need Bonds

I would modify the title of the thread to say "People who are tapping their retirement savings for living expenses need bonds", which is most of us. If you receive enough regular income from social security or a pension or an annuity or all of them to cover your living expenses, then bonds are not n...
by cjcerny
Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:17 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is my asset allocation okay?
Replies: 35
Views: 3052

Re: Is my asset allocation okay?

The difference between Bogle and Buffet really boils down to volatility. Investing most or all of your money in stocks, as Mr. Buffet suggests, is going to result in wild ups and downs. A small percentage of people can handle wild ups and downs--most people cannot. The odds are that you are in the m...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Car Recommendations
Replies: 85
Views: 9202

Re: Family Car Recommendations

Other than a Camry or an Accord, only other vehicle worth looking at is the Subaru Legacy.
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 08, 2015 7:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is the diversification in international stocks necessary?
Replies: 16
Views: 2560

Re: Is the diversification in international stocks necessary?

Bogle says no. Bogleheads say yes. I'm with Bogle, but I understand the reasoning used by Bogleheads for some international exposure. Bogle says he doesn't have a problem with a small amount of international exposure. I don't think a right answer can really be quantified--you'll likely find periods ...
by cjcerny
Tue Sep 08, 2015 6:43 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life lessons: Making loans to friends. Insights? Revelations?
Replies: 191
Views: 24075

Re: Life lessons: Making loans to friends. Insights? Revelations?

I loan money to friends/family, but I only loan less than my state's small claim court limit and I make sure that the loan is legally documented for my state and gets stamped by a notary. I also make sure that they have collateral for it. Never had a problem yet.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 2:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!
Replies: 44
Views: 3372

Re: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!

I agree - right now we're just in the education stage! My siblings haven't the slightest interest in personal finance and wouldn't know what I was talking about if I said asset allocation to them, so I don't anticipate issues there - I think they'll just be glad that I am looking out for my parents...
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!
Replies: 44
Views: 3372

Re: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!

I understand. I've been in this situation too, when my father passed away and my mother inherited his assets. Does sound like some action needs to be taken, but I wouldn't lift a finger without first getting your parents and siblings on board too. Transparency is the key to success here, I suspect.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 1:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to avoid losing a cell phone
Replies: 57
Views: 4699

Re: How to avoid losing a cell phone

There are a couple of different Bluetooth tag systems available commercially that are designed to fight this problem. Proximo, PebbleBee, and Pixie Point are the names of some of them. They work on anything you stick them to.
by cjcerny
Fri Sep 04, 2015 12:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!
Replies: 44
Views: 3372

Re: Help with retired parents' portfolio - TIAA experts welcome!

I don't think there's that much to fix here either, especially if you haven't been asked to fix anything by your parents. The expenses aren't terrible and you'll never get the up front load back if they were charged one, obviously. Could be that the asset allocation is off, by that would be fairly e...
by cjcerny
Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?
Replies: 15
Views: 2074

Re: Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?

Didn't realize that it was a tax-free switch. Thanks for the help. Much appreciated.
by cjcerny
Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?
Replies: 15
Views: 2074

Switch to Admiral a big tax hit?

I just passed the $10k mark in VTSMX. Wondering if I would take a big tax hit to move to everything to VTSAX or if the tax hit is worth it because of the additional expense savings. Thoughts?
by cjcerny
Mon Oct 15, 2012 12:40 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The Three-Fund Portfolio
Replies: 2127
Views: 1308431

Re: The Three Fund Portfolio

Taylor, I keep seeing the phrase "tax managed" pop up over and over again in this great thread--just wondering how that might apply to me. I'm 45 now and my hope is to save $25k a year for the next 10 years so that I can semi-retire at 55. But I digress...since I already max out my Roth and don't re...
by cjcerny
Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert this IRA to Roth IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 1815

Re: Convert this IRA to Roth IRA?

For 2012 the top of the 25% tax bracket for MFS is $85,600. Deductions and exemption for someone over 65 increase allowable income to almost $97,000. Your mother will not have enough income, even with her $42,000 RMD, to reach the top of the 25% bracket. Why would you want to pay 38% tax now when y...
by cjcerny
Fri Aug 03, 2012 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert this IRA to Roth IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 1815

Re: Convert this IRA to Roth IRA?

It's probably not quite that simple of a decision. Figure about $380k in tax to roll it over. Over the course of the RMD's on the IRA, tax may well be considerably more. Haven't found a good online calculator yet. Suggestions?
by cjcerny
Fri Aug 03, 2012 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convert this IRA to Roth IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 1815

Convert this IRA to Roth IRA?

My mother will turn 70.5 in 2014 and will be forced to take RMD from her IRA. Attempting to calculate if we should convert it to Roth IRA before that time. Current IRA value is 1,150,000. Only income she has is $24k in Social Security and about $10k in dividends from her cash investments. She also r...
by cjcerny
Mon Apr 16, 2012 11:45 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Which Vanguard fund(s) or ETF(s) for Roth IRA?
Replies: 3
Views: 731

Which Vanguard fund(s) or ETF(s) for Roth IRA?

After a number of years away from Vanguard, I want to return my Roth IRA to Vanguard in 2012. However, I'm having trouble deciding which fund(s) or ETF(s) I want to use for that purpose. The obvious choice and most simple for me would be VTTHX (I'm 44 now). However, sure seems like VTTHX is awfully ...
by cjcerny
Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How Should I Invest My Husband's Retirement $ - 75K?
Replies: 14
Views: 2349

Re: How Should I Invest My Husband's Retirement $ - 75K?

Consider a Vanguard target retirement date fund.
by cjcerny
Tue Jan 10, 2012 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: furnace heated the house at 85┬░ for 17 days
Replies: 47
Views: 4393

Re: furnace heated the house at 85┬░ for 17 days

Tell me again why we are worried about the gas bill of someone with a 4400 square foot house that just spent 17 days on vacation in Thailand?
by cjcerny
Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking very simple yet agressive and diversified IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 2962

All very solid advice and I appreciate it very much. Some further clarification: both she any I don't expect that she'll need to use the money in the IRA at any point in her lifetime, so primarily it's a question of maximizing its performance without any target date in mind with the idea that the ba...
by cjcerny
Sat Sep 15, 2007 1:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking very simple yet agressive and diversified IRA
Replies: 11
Views: 2962

Seeking very simple yet agressive and diversified IRA

Sadly, my father passed away from cancer in February of this year. He left my mother a regular Vanguard IRA currently valued around $930k. She turns 64 this month. She also owns her home and has sufficient income between her Social Security and Veteran's Administration benefits and a big pile of cas...