Search found 719 matches

by Midpack
Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:35 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Opinions on Investing Magazines
Replies: 17
Views: 1995

Re: Opinions on Investing Magazines

Maybe all Investings Magazines should do is just change their covers and print the same content!! Same 12 issues but different covers!! You are right, a lot of things don't change. Money magazine has done this already for years. Odd months are "How to save on taxes NOW!" and even months a...
by Midpack
Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:22 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Vanguard Advice on REITs ... ?
Replies: 24
Views: 3098

Re: Vanguard Advice on REITs ... ?

No surprise. Vanguard will recommend broad market participation staying with market weighting. I suspect they'd recommend an asset allocation simply made up of the low cost passive Total Stock, Total International & Total Bond funds for most investors - and that would probably serve 95% of the b...
by Midpack
Tue Jun 18, 2013 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Two pensions - Getting rid of bonds?
Replies: 25
Views: 2878

Re: Two pensions - Getting rid of bonds?

OP, you are young. I think you need to start reading the newspapers about public pensions. None will be like they are now. A guarantee is not worth anything anymore. At any day your plan may be terminated and converted to a 401K plan. I agree with that statement.. Which is why we aggressively save ...
by Midpack
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why would anybody use Turbotax?
Replies: 111
Views: 16503

Re: Why would anybody use Turbotax?

I've been using TurboTax for over 10 years and it's always been useful, I remembers spending days doing my taxes manually years ago. I tried TaxAct and TaxCut both years ago, and found them far inferior, judging from the stats below I'm in the majority. I wonder how TaxAct and TaxCut stay in busines...
by Midpack
Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Nickeling and diming out of the HSA
Replies: 29
Views: 2287

Re: Nickeling and diming out of the HSA

We had intended to save our HSA funds, but the investment options are the equivalent of MMFs with essentially zero yield. So we use the funds to pay for every legitimate medical expense that comes at us. Since it's losing ground in real terms, spending it now makes sense to me. YMMV
by Midpack
Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Guidance?
Replies: 9
Views: 640

Re: IRA Guidance?

IRAs are individual; you are not your wife. Read form 8606 and instructions. We has no meaning. Not sure I follow. We both have individual rollover IRAs and we both have individual TIRAs. Not sure what you're getting at regarding "we." I have been away, and I see that House Blend has expl...
by Midpack
Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Guidance?
Replies: 9
Views: 640

Re: IRA Guidance?

Now that our AGI puts us in the 15% tax bracket (brave new world), I wanted to convert the TIRAs to Roth's but as I understand it we can't selectively convert the 2 TIRAs, we have to convert all IRAs on a prorated basis. Staying in the 15% bracket, it will take us (almost) forever to convert it all...
by Midpack
Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Guidance?
Replies: 9
Views: 640

Re: IRA Guidance?

sscritic wrote:IRAs are individual; you are not your wife. Read form 8606 and instructions. We has no meaning.
Not sure I follow. We both have individual rollover IRAs and we both have individual TIRAs. Not sure what you're getting at regarding "we."
by Midpack
Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: IRA Guidance?
Replies: 9
Views: 640

IRA Guidance?

I have searched here, but didn't find anything, apologies if I missed it. My details are below, but if there is a good resource on TIRA>Roth conversions (I've read many websites but it's still confusing to me) and whether or not I should continue TIRA contributions - my questions could probably be a...
by Midpack
Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bathroom remodel suggestions.
Replies: 53
Views: 6844

Re: Bathroom remodel suggestions.

We did our 2.5 baths in the past few years, and we're about to do our kitchen. Found this, thought it might be of interest to the OP. http://www.housingzone.com/design/exclusive-research-what-buyers-want-kitchen-and-bath-design Our master bath is 9'x10', we did not put in heated floors or a mirror d...
by Midpack
Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:58 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to hold cash (equivalents)?
Replies: 12
Views: 2022

Re: Where to hold cash (equivalents)?

Midpack, what is your reaction to Chaz's suggestion of CD's? That seems one obvious solution to where to put cash. Not Midpack, but it is not obvious to me. I have a substantial amount of cash with Ally earning .95%. Their 5 year CDs pay 1.58%. I would rather keep my cash liquid for things like a m...
by Midpack
Mon Jan 14, 2013 3:39 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to hold cash (equivalents)?
Replies: 12
Views: 2022

Re: Where to hold cash (equivalents)?

OP is retired, if objective is liquidity and higher yield, EE bonds would not be the best option. If desire is to hold for 20 years, then 3.53% looks good for now. Not to answer for OP, but, like Grt2bOutdoors, I don't see EE bonds as a great liquidity option if the money is likely to be used withi...
by Midpack
Mon Jan 14, 2013 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where to hold cash (equivalents)?
Replies: 12
Views: 2022

Where to hold cash (equivalents)?

After accepting Vanguard MMF low yields for too long, I've finally decided to: -put $20K in iBonds, max allowed for self & wife (better late than never), -keep $10-20K at Vanguard, and -put all remaining cash in Ally online savings I'm retired, so I feel a need to keep a years worth of expenses ...
by Midpack
Fri May 25, 2012 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [looking for consumer products] that truly last...
Replies: 56
Views: 6615

Re: [looking for consumer products] that truly last...

Hard to generalize. I think it's more the case that as people are stretching their pennies, manufacturers have been forced to find ways to provide products at a lower and lower price point - compounded by cheap offshore competitors. Not surprisingly they don't last very long more often than not. Che...
by Midpack
Mon May 21, 2012 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Should I Run my car to its grave?
Replies: 48
Views: 5127

Re: Should I Run my car to its grave?

Keep it until it's unmanageable from a maintenance cost and/or reliability POV. Especially if you put 30K miles/yr on it, selling/trading a high mileage car is tough, so you might as well drive it as long as you can. And 80K on a Honda is nothing, I've run a Honda to 164K miles without any major exp...
by Midpack
Sun May 13, 2012 11:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: William Bernstein Sample Portfolios
Replies: 10
Views: 4121

Re: William Bernstein Sample Portfolios

I didn't go verify in the book, but from Google http://geocities.ws/finplan825/portWBshelteredSam.html or http://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Talk:Slice_and_Dice or The Sheltered Sam portfolio is recommended by financial author Bill Bernstein. It is heavily weighted toward the U.S. market and contains on...
by Midpack
Sun May 13, 2012 8:43 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: old hat for others....tilting question
Replies: 43
Views: 3225

Re: old hat for others....tilting question

My IP follows the above going back to 2003 (after reading The Four Pillars of Investing), the equity portion of my portfolio is as follows FWIW: 30% VTSAX, VTCLX & VGELX 10% VVIAX 10% VTMSX 10% VISVX 10% VGSLX 20% VTMGX 10% VEMAX I make no recommendations, it's an AA that I'm comfortable with th...
by Midpack
Sun May 13, 2012 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Learn Guitar or Piano?
Replies: 119
Views: 13692

Re: Learn Guitar or Piano?

Whichever you enjoy most. The rest of my post is irrelevant IMO... I've seriously played baritone, violin, guitar and piano. Piano is versatile but the instrument requires a significant investment in money and space unless you're talking the electronic keyboard option. Piano can be enjoyable alone o...
by Midpack
Fri May 11, 2012 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How To Plan & Spend Assets in Retirement
Replies: 27
Views: 3605

Re: How To Plan & Spend Assets in Retirement

I'm in a bit of a panic because I'm confused about which way to go. Sell primary home and move into the garden home. Stay and sell the other properties. "There's no situation that can't be made much worse by panicking." Seriously, why panic? I wouldn't do anything until I was comfortable ...
by Midpack
Thu May 10, 2012 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How To Plan & Spend Assets in Retirement
Replies: 27
Views: 3605

Re: How To Plan & Spend Assets in Retirement

Have you tried http://www.firecalc.com/ ? If I summarized your info and entered it correctly, some caution may be in order. I used: $120K/yr income (taxes incl) plus inflation, 30 year retirement, $27780 + $7764 Soc Sec starting now and $10800 rental income now (assumed COLA), $1056K portfolio $235K...
by Midpack
Thu May 10, 2012 2:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding on what to cut from our budget?
Replies: 33
Views: 6196

Re: Deciding on what to cut from our budget?

•Our cell phone expense used to be about $140/mo for the two of us, now it's about $35/mo and we have all the minutes (voice, text, data) we need - an iPhone is very nice but not necessary. Midpack, Would you post where you get the $35/mo voice/text/data plan? I'm with trackphone and we at about $2...
by Midpack
Thu May 10, 2012 10:24 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I am not smarter than the market
Replies: 5
Views: 704

Re: I am not smarter than the market

The "jolt" I needed was reading investment headlines two days in a row where stories swung wildly from "optimistic" to "doom!" with regards to the same company. Financial news may as well be "entertaining fiction." Sounds like someone's been watching... http:...
by Midpack
Thu May 10, 2012 10:16 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I am not smarter than the market
Replies: 5
Views: 704

Re: I am not smarter than the market

The "jolt" I needed was reading investment headlines two days in a row where stories swung wildly from "optimistic" to "doom!" with regards to the same company. Financial news may as well be "entertaining fiction." Sounds like someone's been watching... http:...
by Midpack
Thu May 10, 2012 10:04 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Deciding on what to cut from our budget?
Replies: 33
Views: 6196

Re: Deciding on what to cut from our budget?

Like others have said it's entirely personal. Over the past 5 years we've reduced our expenses by 30%, and if anything we're happier, we don't feel deprived at all. We did the "sell your crap" routine and unloaded about $2500 worth of stuff on eBay in about 60 transactions, that had layed ...
by Midpack
Thu May 10, 2012 9:48 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Fear of bonds--Help!
Replies: 37
Views: 4522

Re: Fear of bonds--Help!

I am also about your age (57) and retired comfortably with a large portfolio. I also have a large sum in bonds (40%) though tax sheltered thankfully. Nothing wrong with wading in as others have suggested, but I bought it all in one day about 8 months ago using cash rolled into an IRA from a 401k and...
by Midpack
Wed May 09, 2012 3:46 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Should I choose a pension?
Replies: 33
Views: 2817

Re: Should I choose a pension?

There is no right answer unfortunately, depends on so many individual factors, most you can't predict. Here's a similar thread if you haven't seen it already. http://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=73529
by Midpack
Mon May 07, 2012 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Right time to buy for me? Some advice please.
Replies: 24
Views: 2346

Re: Right time to buy for me? Some advice please.

Your post sounds a little apologetic, you have nothing to apologize for. I'd encourage you to get your 4-year degree if at all possible based on your stated goals. Electrician apprentice is a good career path too if that's what you want, but with a degree you will have more options, including electr...
by Midpack
Mon May 07, 2012 6:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Retiring to Arizona....somewhere in the valley.
Replies: 18
Views: 3436

Re: Retiring to Arizona....somewhere in the valley.

Buddy of mine lives in a 55+ community in San Tan Valley (Queen Creek). He's been there for three years and he absolutely loves it, though I don't know the name of the development. And it's in your price range too, best of luck...
by Midpack
Mon May 07, 2012 5:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long will you live?
Replies: 50
Views: 4231

Re: How long will you live?

My parents are both 90 and DW's Mom is 86, frankly I hope I don't live that long...
by Midpack
Mon May 07, 2012 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Buffett: "I would totally avoid buying [bonds]."
Replies: 40
Views: 6084

Re: Buffett: "I would totally avoid buying [bonds]."

He is saying what Dr. Bernstein is saying...that at current rates, the risk is not worth the at-best-puny potential reward. But I don't think that he means for us little guys to be 100% equity. He's just saying that for whatever portion we don't commit to equity, don't go out very far on the fixed ...
by Midpack
Wed May 02, 2012 10:36 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What safe return would you take to forego stocks?
Replies: 29
Views: 2361

Re: What safe return would you take to forego stocks?

As others have suggested, real returns are all that matters. I also voted 8% since asking about returns (or inflation) independently doesn't mean much. My plan succeeds if we have real returns of 1-2%, though obviously I hope for better than that, but no bets... :?
by Midpack
Wed May 02, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Not your regular retirement questions
Replies: 58
Views: 8019

Re: Not your regular retirement questions

Obviously the often used 4% SWR doesn't apply here, that's for a retirement of 30 years. I've often read that based on past history, a 3% WR is the indefinitely sustainable rate and I'd start from there with a potential 50-60 year retirement. Some people aren't comfortable even at 3% FWIW (I retired...
by Midpack
Tue May 01, 2012 6:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] Do you check your distributions?
Replies: 25
Views: 1594

Re: [Poll] Do you check your distributions?

I never used to, but now that I'm retired i have to check them for estimated taxes. Otherwise I wouldn't care...
by Midpack
Tue May 01, 2012 6:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: what percent of your net worth is in home equity?
Replies: 27
Views: 3188

Re: what percent of your net worth is in home equity?

7%, and very happily so...

But I'm relatively old, I would expect much higher from someone younger.
by Midpack
Tue May 01, 2012 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement is near . . .
Replies: 13
Views: 1344

Re: Retirement is near . . .

Some of the replies are overly snarky IMO, but YMMV. OP: The Target Portfolios and Target Funds are designed for a mostly hands-off investor like yourself. Most people would probably be better off with either approach than an active DIY approach (this forum is decidely not most people BTW). The asse...
by Midpack
Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:36 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: [Poll] My philosophy on SPIAs
Replies: 65
Views: 4728

Re: [Poll] My philosophy on SPIAs

Buying a SPIA is part of our plan B, I would not rule it out. We don't care about leaving a residual estate and 'dying broke' would be fine as we have no heirs, but leaving money to our favorite charities would be fine too. Our portfolio should hold us indefinitely (about a 2.5% WR), so hopefully we...
by Midpack
Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:10 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Retirement Longevity
Replies: 60
Views: 4556

Re: Retirement Longevity

You do not need to depend purely on a safe withdrawal rate (SWR) strategy. Annuities effectively take the guesswork out of unknown longevity to a significant extent. So such savings are probably not needed. That said, it's good to save a decent amount. But also you can't predict where you portfolio...
by Midpack
Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on my defined benefit plan?
Replies: 21
Views: 1486

Re: Thoughts on my defined benefit plan?

No (nomical) downside and up to 6.5% upside, not a bad deal. Though you didn't say it that I noted, you imply this is somehow a tax deferred plan making it even more valuable. I used to be in an exec deferred compensation plan, but the investment choices were absurd. The funds in your plan are far, ...
by Midpack
Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family vacation what to do? Northern-Cal or Southern-Cal
Replies: 42
Views: 3061

Re: Family vacation what to do? Northern-Cal or Southern-Cal

I'd spend a week around San Francisco (Napa side trip) and the second week around San Diego. I'd plan on LA for week three of my two week vacation...but it all depends on what kinds of activities you'd enjoy - sightseeing, nature, tourist attractions, time on the water, etc.
by Midpack
Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If you could hold only one fund, which one would it be?
Replies: 49
Views: 5798

Re: Vanguard Target Fund

Hi Dave: I would hold a Target Fund with the appropriate stock/bond allocation. Here's why: * Contains my favorite Three Fund Portfolio . * Extreme diversification (lower risk). Over 10,000 worldwide securities. * 11 fund choices. * No worry about style drift, manager changes, or under-performing t...
by Midpack
Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Are we in the righ track for retirement?
Replies: 9
Views: 1616

Re: Are we in the righ track for retirement?

If you're asking for a critique of your investments, see post #2. If you're asking if you'll have enough to retire, no one can answer without knowing when you plan to retire and more importantly what your projected annual spending in retirement would be. Rule of thumb for retiring at age 65, you nee...
by Midpack
Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Does anyone else...
Replies: 5
Views: 811

Re: Does anyone else...

Download their dividend and interest payments YTD, and just smile? Slow and steady doesn't get enough recognition. No wow factor... Until you do something like this and start adding up all the little "trickle's"... For a split second until I calculate and mail in my estimated tax payment....
by Midpack
Fri Apr 20, 2012 6:13 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Roth conversion mistake
Replies: 18
Views: 1460

Re: Roth conversion mistake

Here's my mistake. I also rolled over my money in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) to an account, but found out that the new account is actually a tIRA (discovered after I filed my taxes.) This account was not factored in the conversion taxes. No help, but if it makes you feel better, I rolled my 401k...
by Midpack
Thu Apr 19, 2012 12:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats out of favor now?
Replies: 71
Views: 5504

Re: Whats out of favor now?

I think Cut-Throat may have been being facetious. This has been a prediction by the "experts" for years now. Eventually interest rates will rise, but nobody knows when. "Lose your shirt" on bonds means a loss of ~5%, which dividends erase in pretty short order. :beer Bingo !! .....
by Midpack
Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Looking into buying a flatscreen tv
Replies: 62
Views: 5374

Re: Looking into buying a flatscreen tv

I'd buy an LCD or LED vs a plasma. We have a 40" 1080p & 32" 720p Sony Bravia and we're very happy with them. Here's a recent comparison http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33199_7-57344058-221/led-lcd-vs-plasma-vs-lcd/ that might help. And look at the bright side. The 40" LCD set me bac...
by Midpack
Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Window world?
Replies: 18
Views: 7638

Re: Window world?

Adam: Not familiar with Window World, but are you upgrading from single glazed to double glazed in the process (I hope)? I can't think of another reason to pay for replacement, but you didn't say. And the payback on double glazed windows isn't that great in moderate climate zones, not sure where you...
by Midpack
Wed Apr 18, 2012 3:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Whats out of favor now?
Replies: 71
Views: 5504

Re: Whats out of favor now?

Bonds. Rising interest rates are a sure thing and you are sure to lose your shirt. Could you quantify "lose your shirt" on bonds please? Interest rates will rise (and impact bond returns when they do), though hard to forecast much of a change before 2014 unless The Fed abruptly changes co...
by Midpack
Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Radon Remediation
Replies: 36
Views: 7053

Re: Radon Remediation

I think you have to put radon in perspective. I'm not saying there's no risk with radon and I'm not saying you shouldn't remediate, but the risk at 5.9 is pretty low IMO. Back in the 80's when radon testing became the norm, a relocating married friend of mine with two small children had to have his ...
by Midpack
Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: would you rather retire early or retire richer?
Replies: 86
Views: 7446

Re: would you rather retire early or retire richer?

Fortunately I am at a point where I enjoy my career, make decent $$$ (not great), work for a very good company with sound management, have great health, and the finances are in decent shape. I need the continued challenge that work allows. I dont see that changing for awhile, but at some point it w...
by Midpack
Tue Apr 17, 2012 2:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: would you rather retire early or retire richer?
Replies: 86
Views: 7446

Re: would you rather retire early or retire richer?

When we reached double the nest egg we should need (based on all market history back to 1871), I was fortunate to be able to retire at age 57. However, so far after 9 months I am finding there are advantages and disadvantages to both working and not working. I'm in no rush and I'm throughly enjoying...