Search found 246 matches

by Lancelot
Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018
Replies: 51
Views: 5306

Re: Medicare Part B premium unchanged for 2018

I was not aware of IRMAA premiums when I did my tax planning for retirement. Oh well!! Yes, a lot of people get surprised when they delay SS to age 70, right when they begin RMDs. The taxes can be huge, plus the extra cost for Medicare premiums B and D. Sooner or later the goose gets plucked :) I s...
by Lancelot
Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off
Replies: 221
Views: 22290

Re: Dave Ramsey says don't use credit cards, even if you pay them off

Do you all agree with Dave on this? He says that it's stupid to use credit cards even in situations where you use credit cards for rewards points (credit card hacking) and pay them off each month without paying any interest. His argument is that there have been studies done that show people spend m...
by Lancelot
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:11 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Makes U.S. Treasuries the World's "Safe" Asset?
Replies: 24
Views: 3198

Re: What Makes U.S. Treasuries the World's "Safe" Asset?

Stormbringer wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:16 am
I suspect that in addition to the perceived creditworthiness of the United States over the duration of US Treasuries, the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency is a factor.
I'm with you, even our enemies -North Korea- want USDs.
by Lancelot
Sat Oct 28, 2017 6:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What was the main reason you retired?
Replies: 210
Views: 21150

Re: What was the main reason you retired?

#3 Experienced some significant life changes and decided to travel. Only one more continent to go :D
by Lancelot
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Discussion Forum?
Replies: 31
Views: 4350

Re: Social Security Discussion Forum?

I too didn't know what dkba was :) I forget the reason for the authentication, but I failed a dkba verification at Vanguard. I've moved so many times that I forgot some of my prior addresses. I asked Vanguard to allow me to retake the verification in three days, then I reviewed my long list of prior...
by Lancelot
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:43 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vague Small Claims Court Judgement Issues
Replies: 3
Views: 713

Re: Vague Small Claims Court Judgement Issues

I understand your concerns. If it were me, I would document that the judgement was in error and voluntarily disclose to any future lenders and employers.
by Lancelot
Sat Oct 21, 2017 6:00 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why do I need bonds? (I'm 30)
Replies: 70
Views: 9941

Re: Why do I need bonds? (I'm 30)

At age 30, the OP probably doesn't need bonds, time is on his side. Just stay the course through the market crashes and he will do well. But when the OP approaches retirement he may want some bonds or cash. A lot depends on his risk tolerance; how would he feel about being 100% in a Total Market Ind...
by Lancelot
Sat Oct 21, 2017 5:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 10400

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

My guess is that Walmart makes money on prescriptions the same way they make money on everything else: huge volume (supplier discounts and leverage), low costs, efficient supply chain, and lower margins than many would tolerate. I agree. Walmart has great bargaining power with its suppliers and is ...
by Lancelot
Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 14931

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

I adapted to retirement like a duck to water; however, I relocated abroad, so perhaps new challenges helped me.

I'm never bored and cherish having my time as my own :)
by Lancelot
Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4361
Views: 839170

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

beehappy wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 4:46 am


Thanks. I called Chase and got downgraded to this free version.
Happy to help. I've had the card for years, it was my first sign up bonus. Thirty thousand miles after $1,000 spend :)
by Lancelot
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]
Replies: 26
Views: 4169

Re: Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018

The Wizard wrote:
Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:23 am
Lancelot wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:09 pm


I just started receiving SS in 2016, but that's not the issue.
Sorry I responded
by Lancelot
Sun Oct 15, 2017 7:18 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]
Replies: 26
Views: 4169

Re: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]

For most SS recipients the hold harmless rule will ensure that SS checks will not decrease :sharebeer

But I can appreciate the IRMMA "got cha" trap; Waiting until 70 to receive SS combined with IRA RMDs will snare so me folks.
by Lancelot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:38 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4361
Views: 839170

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

https://thepointsguy.com/2017/09/new-no-fee-united-card/ Other benefits of the United TravelBank Card include 25% back as a statement credit on food and beverage purchases on board United flights, auto rental coverage and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. There are also no foreign transacti...
by Lancelot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?
Replies: 4361
Views: 839170

Re: What's Your Credit Card Rewards Strategy?

So you guys are closing your accounts after receiving the bonus to avoid the annual fee? I usually close out the account to avoid annual fees, but have had some success by calling the card issuer and asked for a retention offer to waive the fee. My strategy is to collect airline miles and arbitrage...
by Lancelot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 4044

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

^ Yes laminating a card seems like common sense to me, but I've heard that in TX some DMV employees refused to accept laminated cards because of forgery concerns. Possibly over zealous employees with out -or perhaps with- no effective supervision. In any case, they did accept my laminated card but r...
by Lancelot
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018]
Replies: 26
Views: 4169

Re: Social Security announces 2.0% benefit increase for 2018

My net SS check after Medicare goes down from year to year... My understanding is that people already enrolled in SS and Medicare are held harmless and exempt from Medicare increases when the SS cost of living does not increase. The increases are paid by Medicare recipients not held harmless. Did y...
by Lancelot
Thu Oct 12, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement
Replies: 47
Views: 4044

Re: Social Security Card - Should I get a Replacement

My wife had to get a new ss card when she applied for her TX driver license. They wanted to see the actual card. Other than that, I can't think any other time that we have to show the actual card. Same for me; I'm domiciled in TX and they wanted my SS card. I still have my original card and it's la...
by Lancelot
Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Paying Taxes Quarterly
Replies: 21
Views: 2735

Re: Paying Taxes Quarterly

Really good info about taking a large IRA withdrawl late in the year and withholding 90% of your annual tax bill. Thanks!
by Lancelot
Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:59 am
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Differences between UK and US retirement planning
Replies: 24
Views: 3682

Re: Differences between UK and US retirement planning

During my travels I've met many UK expats, some of the differences I've noticed between UK and US expats are: 1 UK state pensions are "frozen" in most countries (EU, USA, Samoa, Philippines?) the retiree will not receive COLA increases. US SS pays it's citizens living abroad. No coal allowance for ...
by Lancelot
Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Differences between UK and US retirement planning
Replies: 24
Views: 3682

Re: Differences between UK and US retirement planning

During my travels I've met many UK expats, some of the differences I've noticed between UK and US expats are: 1 UK state pensions are "frozen" in most countries (EU, USA, Samoa, Philippines?) the retiree will not receive COLA increases. US SS pays it's citizens living abroad. No coal allowance for e...
by Lancelot
Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insure vs Medigap when on "traditional" Medicare
Replies: 90
Views: 8760

Re: Self insure vs Medigap when on "traditional" Medicare

We have high deductible Medigap plans. So we self insure for out of pocket costs of up to $2200 each per year. These seems like a more rational solution than self insuring for unlimited medical expenses. plannerman Agree. We have the Plan F high deductible at a total cost for two of about $2,300. I...
by Lancelot
Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:53 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Self insure vs Medigap when on "traditional" Medicare
Replies: 90
Views: 8760

Re: Self insure vs Medigap when on "traditional" Medicare

Good thread. I too have thought about self insuring beyond what Medicare will reimburse, but after seeing high deductible Plan Fs ($2,280) for as low as $40/mo, I'm probably going to go that route. I travel a lot and especially like Plan Fs international coverage, although its capped at $50k lifetim...
by Lancelot
Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why not just buy BRK.B or BRK.A?
Replies: 49
Views: 6717

Re: Why not just buy BRK.B or BRK.A?

Why indeed; I sold my position in BRK.B around 2010 to harvest some 0% capital gains. I should have held. Ah, hind sight. About Buffett and Munger's age, that does not bother me because they have recruited talent to carry the torch. I also feel positive about their board governance. If the market co...
by Lancelot
Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Warren Buffett on America
Replies: 9
Views: 3382

Re: Warren Buffett on America

Great video, thanks for posting.

As I travel the world, I've observed US Embassies and the long lines of foreign nationals applying for a US Visa. We must be doing something right :D
by Lancelot
Sat Aug 26, 2017 10:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "I'm Bill Bengen, and I first proposed the 4% safe withdrawal rate in 1994. Ask me anything!"
Replies: 119
Views: 19024

Re: "I'm Bill Bengen, and I first proposed the 4% safe withdrawal rate in 1994. Ask me anything!"

Good thread. I'm going with the 4.5% rate when I move back to the USA. I'm single and not concerned with legacy issues, so YMMV. I stumbled across a similar SWR video on YouTube that proposed higher rates, adjusted for inflation, if the retiree was willing to slightly adjust his SWR during a down ye...
by Lancelot
Sun Aug 20, 2017 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Use of VanguardAdvantage Visa Debit Card at Foreign ATMs for Cash Withdrawals
Replies: 13
Views: 2776

Re: Use of VanguardAdvantage Visa Debit Card at Foreign ATMs for Cash Withdrawals

I used to use my Vanguard Advantage card in Thailand -Eightish years ago- and I received a rate about 10 basis points lower that xe.com

Then Thai banks began charging a 200 baht withdrawal fee for foreign bank cards so I switched to Schwab and Fidelity because they rebate fees.
by Lancelot
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:57 pm
Forum: Non-US Investing
Topic: Australian Vanguard ETF for three-fund portfolio
Replies: 13
Views: 3774

Re: Australian Vanguard ETF for three-fund portfolio

At age 25 I would suggest 100% equities, if you are saving for retirement.
by Lancelot
Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension question: purchase 0.35 yrs of previous service?
Replies: 22
Views: 2901

Re: Pension question: purchase 0.35 yrs of previous service?

^ I agree. What is your pension plans benefit formula?

Also why is the plan offering the purchase?
by Lancelot
Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 234
Views: 30475

Re: Social Security for Millennials

4. Social Security is arguably the most popular governmental program, and seniors disproportionately vote. My hunch is that some form of Social Security will be around for Millennials. The folks on this forum are pretty savvy about investing and are actively making provisions for their well earned ...
by Lancelot
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does renting make sense
Replies: 112
Views: 13487

Re: When does renting make sense

Interesting thread! Previously I was firmly in the home ownership cohort. Why? Well houses always increase in value! (Don't they?) :mrgreen: After moving abroad and mostly living long term in furnished apartments, for the past year I have leased a two bedroom unfurnished apartment. And I love it! F...
by Lancelot
Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Q&A WITH JACK BOGLE - Got a Question for Jack?
Replies: 53
Views: 16776

Re: Q&A WITH JACK BOGLE - Got a Question for Jack?

I would be interested to know Mr. Bogle's thoughts on "Five American Funds disprove the Index Myth." https://www.americanfunds.com/advisor/insights/the-capital-advantage/five-american-funds-that-beat-the-first-index-funds-lifetime-results.html.html Personally I'm a big fan of Vanguard and their inde...
by Lancelot
Tue Aug 15, 2017 12:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When does renting make sense
Replies: 112
Views: 13487

Re: When does renting make sense

Interesting thread! Previously I was firmly in the home ownership cohort. Why? Well houses always increase in value! (Don't they?) :mrgreen: After moving abroad and mostly living long term in furnished apartments, for the past year I have leased a two bedroom unfurnished apartment. And I love it! My...
by Lancelot
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Social Security Income Benefit For Non-Citizen?
Replies: 11
Views: 2042

Re: US Social Security Income Benefit For Non-Citizen?

During my travels I have met several non US citizens that worked in the USA(40 quarters or more), moved from the US but receive their US Social Security benefits.
by Lancelot
Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice
Replies: 84
Views: 14845

Re: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice

DR recommends 100% stock. That is very common on this site for many bogleheads (not for me....). Yes it is controversial. I believe that the overwhelming majority of us who are 100% stocks, myself included, are so in part because we are still a long ways off from retirement. I certainly know that I...
by Lancelot
Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice
Replies: 84
Views: 14845

Re: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice

Let's take an objective look at some of Dave's "investing advice." 1. He says that paying a 5.75% front end load for a mutual fund is money well spent. 2. He says that ERs don't really matter. 3. He says that active management of stocks will easily beat passive management. 4. He says that growth fu...
by Lancelot
Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice
Replies: 84
Views: 14845

Re: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice

^Cool. @Jags graph Around the dot com bubble the managed fund made some good stock picks and it seems the index fund never closed the gap. Over the ten year period ending in March 2017 the managed fund returned 6.99% net of fees; index 7.39. I would still choose Vanguard Total Market :D Back to Dave...
by Lancelot
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice
Replies: 84
Views: 14845

Re: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice

There is no guarantee that American Funds can continue to outperform, but the reality is they have outperformed in most 10+ year time periods and have "long term track records of out performing the S&P 500" as DR would say. And now that they are available in F-1 class shares with no load, you don't...
by Lancelot
Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice
Replies: 84
Views: 14845

Re: Dave Ramsey spends two segments on his investing advice

Jags4186 wrote:
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:18 am
He ihas mentioned a few times that he nvests in American Funds and they do have long term track records of outperforming the S&P 500.
After fees and loads?

What specific time periods?
by Lancelot
Fri Aug 11, 2017 8:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 4% Rule has changed.....not
Replies: 80
Views: 11158

Re: 4% Rule has changed.....not

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AJsKrOfNsBQ These guys are discussing a 4.5%, inflation adjusted withdrawal rate, by adding a component of small cap stocks to a portfolio. I am single, so I'm not concerned about legacy or providing for a spouse; just enjoying myself :sharebeer I think it boils down ...
by Lancelot
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: A time to EVALUATE your jitters
Replies: 353
Views: 356716

Re: A time to EVALUATE your jitters

from the Economist's Buttonwood: Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton of the London Business School are the acknowledged experts on global investment returns, having compiled data covering 22 countries over more than a century. As of February 2013, the longest period of negative real returns ...
by Lancelot
Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Bonds: Ballast for your portfolio"
Replies: 45
Views: 8239

Re: "Bonds: Ballast for your portfolio"

How to choose? Vanguard Total Bond Fund :mrgreen: I need to keep it simple because I am dumb -- to pick a relatively easy plan and stick to it. The most important decision: what is your stock/bond ratio. Chasing performance on the bond side? Dumb like a fox? :D Even Warren Buffet admits that he sta...
by Lancelot
Fri Aug 11, 2017 3:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Bonds: Ballast for your portfolio"
Replies: 45
Views: 8239

Re: "Bonds: Ballast for your portfolio"

How to choose? Vanguard Total Bond Fund :mrgreen:
by Lancelot
Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Amex High Yield Savings Questions
Replies: 6
Views: 1818

Re: Amex High Yield Savings Questions

I've been using Amex High Yield savings for several years. Usually good service until I requested an insurance payment (to me) be deposited in my Amex account. No can do says Amex; only transfers between accounts in my own name. You might want to keep that in mind. Otherwise, all good :D I was unabl...
by Lancelot
Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Withdrawal rates
Replies: 11
Views: 1857

Re: Withdrawal rates

First, kudos to your sister and you for being appreciative of your parents supporting you through college and now encouraging your Mom to enjoy herself. I agree with you that 5% is a very safe withdrawal rate for a 77 year old woman; however, I understand that it may not be easy to convince your Mom...
by Lancelot
Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Americans don't trust financial advisers
Replies: 64
Views: 8969

Re: Most Americans don't trust financial advisers

OT but I have always been amazed by people that I consider intelligent, simply abandon any responsibility to manage/oversee their portfolio. If you are smart enough to acquire wealth shouldn't you also be capable of managing it? Well, it's a different 'game'. Acquiring the funds used to buy investm...
by Lancelot
Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 401(k) Conversion to Roth IRA while still in a low tax bracket?
Replies: 15
Views: 1812

Re: 401(k) Conversion to Roth IRA while still in a low tax bracket?

I retired early and regret not converting more of my conventional IRA to a Roth. RMDs and SS will push me into the 25% bracket.

Live and learn :dollar :dollar
by Lancelot
Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:20 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?
Replies: 166
Views: 25238

Re: How are folks handling the unprecedented rise in the market ?

I'm retired so I have been selling tax deferred assets as the market rises, to the extent that I stay at or under the 15% tax bracket. I am deferring SS until at least 67, so its a chance to reduce my IRA balance. Minimum IRA withdrawals and SS will push me into the 25% bracket. Oh well, paying tax ...
by Lancelot
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pension lump sum offer (28yo)
Replies: 7
Views: 1379

Re: Pension lump sum offer (28yo)

Yes roll over to your 401k, plant the "seed" money in to a broad stock index fund, ride it through several deep market corrections and harvest your crop :moneybag

Time is your friend :sharebeer
by Lancelot
Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:52 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Americans don't trust financial advisers
Replies: 64
Views: 8969

Re: Most Americans don't trust financial advisers

OT but I have always been amazed by people that I consider intelligent, simply abandon any responsibility to manage/oversee their portfolio. If you are smart enough to acquire wealth shouldn't you also be capable of managing it? OT but there are even more people that I consider intelligent who simp...
by Lancelot
Sun Jul 23, 2017 7:41 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Most Americans don't trust financial advisers
Replies: 64
Views: 8969

Re: Most Americans don't trust financial advisers

The problem is that the majority of financial advisers today are salespeople. You nailed it :D OT but I have always been amazed by people that I consider intelligent, simply abandon any responsibility to manage/oversee their portfolio. If you are smart enough to acquire wealth shouldn't you also be...