Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

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BetaTracker
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Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by BetaTracker » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:16 pm

Taylor recommends the three-fund portfolio for those without taxable accounts. We've been following that advice since about 20% of our portfolio is in a taxable account.
I'm just trying to plan ahead for a time when my wife, who has no interest in handling our portfolio, might have to take over. Our plan has been to simply turn everything over to Vanguard's Personal Advisor Service. Now with signs of worse health on my part, I've started taking a closer look at the costs. Conceptually, 0.30% charged by PAS hasn't been a big concern. But until recently, I never really put down on paper actual amounts. I've gone through that exercise now and the numbers are striking! After an adult life of living simply and saving in a disciplined manner, our portfolio has grown to a size where it's hit me as a hard pill to swallow.
The alternative I'm thinking about is to put all of our IRA money into the LifeStrategy Moderate Growth fund, which has a set 60/40 allocation -- where I'd like to stay for at least several years into retirement. About 10 years out of retirement, I'd put into our investment plan written instructions for my wife to start asking Vanguard about helping her to switch to LifeStrategy Conservative Growth with its 40/60 allocation.
In the taxable account, Vanguard has a state muni bond fund we could use alongside Total Stock Market. By accident, we've been saving up enough cash in our money market fund to get close to a 60/40 allocation between the two funds right away. I'd instruct her to take from the taxable stock fund first in retirement.
I'd appreciate any comments on whether this seems like a smart way to go. It'd be slightly more in fees than our straight three-fund portfolio. But it would give her significant yearly savings over adding the PAS service.
Last edited by BetaTracker on Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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livesoft
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:22 pm

Ask her what she wants to spend her money on. A good question might be: "Seriously, if I die tomorrow, what would you do?"
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Nowizard
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by Nowizard » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:23 pm

It really does not get much simpler than the three fund portfolio. Are you satisfied with the returns? If so, it is a simple proposition to rebalance as necessary.

Tim

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:24 pm

^ And I read all the time on bogleheads.org that rebalancing is probably not necessary. I think one could go at least 10 years blissfully unaware of any rebalancing needs.
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BetaTracker
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by BetaTracker » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:27 pm

Oh, thanks. The problem comes from the fact that we've both got traditional IRAs and Roths. So in total there are five different accounts with varying mixes of Total Stock, Total International and in the IRAs, Total Bond. My wife just gets dizzy looking at it all! It's easy for me to juggle but she'd much prefer to turn to PAS with the portfolio as it stands now.
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by livesoft » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:32 pm

So I would do the following:

I'd set up my individual tax-advantaged accounts to have one single fund in them. When she inherits them, they become hers with no changes.

The taxable account could have one single fund in it as well and would need no changes.

If you do the standard "portfolio dump", then folks could look at it and change things around for you.
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Elbowman
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by Elbowman » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:33 pm

How about all of taxable in Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced Fund , and all tax-advantaged in an appropriate Target Retirement Fund. You could probably get away with no portfolio changes, ever.

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BrandonBogle
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by BrandonBogle » Fri Jun 02, 2017 4:34 pm

BetaTracker, first and foremost, I am sorry to hear of signs of worse health on your part.

I view Taylor's 3-Fund recommendations a bit differently --
1 - A broadly-diversified, "low-risk" US Market stock fund
2 - A broadly-diversified, "low-risk" total International stock fund
3 - A broadly-diversified, "low-risk" bond fund

As such, Total US meets #1 and Total Intl meets #2, regardless of this is in a tax-advantaged account or taxable account. For me, my taxable uses those funds and so does my Roth, but my 401k uses the S&P 500 instead (since I don't have access to total US there) and just don't sweat it. For #3, total US bond would be fine in tax-advantaged and your state tax-exempt muni bond fund may be fine in taxable (that, or if its too large of a holding you are comfortable with due to lack of diversity, a national tax-exempt muni bond fund).

If your wife is comfortable managing this on her own, using total US bond in tax-advantaged and the muni fund in taxable should be fine.

In my life, those who would benefit from my passing do not have good skills of managing finances and investments. In my will, I put:
Either 1 - Contact a flat-fee financial advisor for investing advice of which Vanguard funds (no more than three, preferably less) to invest in
or 2 - Convert everything to 'LifeStrategy Moderate Growth Fund' and never touch it.

Even taking some tax hits in less optimal strategies is worth it for my benefactors knowing them. If your wife similarly does not wish to get to the intricacies of the most efficient portfolio, the lifestrategy fund of your choosing likely incurs less "cost" than the PAS fee.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by selftalk » Fri Jun 02, 2017 5:01 pm

If the risk is set the way you want it then it should stay as it is. The purchasing power of your money is still declining remember and most probably will continue to do so.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by jjface » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:13 pm

Elbowman wrote:How about all of taxable in Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced Fund , and all tax-advantaged in an appropriate Target Retirement Fund. You could probably get away with no portfolio changes, ever.
The tax managed balanced would be a good idea in my opinion if there wasn't any cost of switching - I imagine they have gains in their taxable account that would make swapping over to this fund impractical.

The target retirement fund is a good idea though. Saves having to set instructions.

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C4NT
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by C4NT » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:34 pm

Nowizard wrote:It really does not get much simpler than the three fund portfolio. Are you satisfied with the returns? If so, it is a simple proposition to rebalance as necessary.

Tim
I think you seriously underestimate the average persons understanding of investing, especially those who have no interest.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:36 pm

What seems optimal to you right now may or may not be optimal for your wife for the rest of her life.

To take just one very simple and obvious example, you mentioned the use of a muni fund for your [presumably] current state. Are you absolutely sure that there are no circumstances (e.g., health, her friends and extended family members moving to another state) under which your wife might want to move?

There may be entirely new financial products not currently available today which might dominate those you are currently setting up.

Alternatively, you might set up your accounts with a Vanguard 60/40 fund that now seems to you to have the right mix of international and TIPS but Vanguard fund managers might decide to change those parameters from their current settings in a way that might be suitable for younger folks but not for an elderly widow. Vanguard has certainly made a lot of changes to their LifeStrategy funds in the past. No telling what they might do in the future.

While talking about the specifics of possible tax changes is not appropriate on this forum, I think it is appropriate to say that Vanguard PAS could help your wife adapt her portfolio to any policy changes or life changes or new products that might happen down the road.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:12 pm

Our portfolio is a 50/50 3 fund with stock currently at 75 US/25 international. Now, my IPS says to just let that float to wherever it happens to go (aka, I will do no rebalancing and will let international do whatever it wants). This is currently spread over 9 or 10 accounts. Instructions for my wife: "Take out money when needed from wherever you feel like taking it from". Can't get more hands off than that. I don't need some adviser's help for her to do that. I've got a list of where the money is, where she can get to it.
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by epictetus » Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:54 pm

how about putting all of the IRAs into the same Target Retirement fund (whichever one would start at the allocation you want now and move to the allocation you want in 10 years) versus the Life-strategy Fund (which holds a static balance)?
that would take care of 80% of your portfolio and would never have to be touched again.

not sure what to suggest with the taxable account which is 20%.
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by multiham » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:12 pm

Different approach from me. What is the value you place on your wife being able to use PAS if needed? If that makes her feel at ease, it is well worth the .30% charge.

Most people on this forum are financially savvy or at least have the curiosity to learn. If that is not the case for someone else, the .30% to get advice is well worth it. I work at a mega corp and do a lot of hiring right out of college. You would be surprised how many people have paid someone to do their 1040 EZ tax return. I explain how easy it is, how it will take less than an hour, and still many of them continue to pay as they put more value on what they can do with the hour they save by having someone else do their taxes. To them, the cost is well worth it.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by CABob » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:18 pm

I am in a similar situation with basically a 3-fund IRA. I am already retired but am starting to be concerned as to what will happen when I have passed or in a condition that I no longer have the desire or ability to maintain the IRA although it requires very little maintenance. I haven't taken any action yet but am considering transferring the entire IRA to a Life Strategy or possibly a target retirement fund. I think my DW will be much happier with that if I am no longer around and have already set up RMD from the IRA.
Bob

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by skjoldur » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:25 pm

What are the potential costs of leaving the portfolio management in the hands of your wife without reliable guidance as she ages and perhaps suffers eventually from cognitive decline?

The .3% would definitely be a big fee for you because you personally don't need the service. She is in a very different situation (based on your description). What if the market tanks, she sees dire fear mongering on TV, is confused about the accounts and cashes out all the stocks at the bottom of a crash? What if she takes the advice of foolish friends or relatives? Would it be worth .3% to avoid those outcomes?

I'm not pushing PAS here specifically. I'm just suggesting that you are applying the attitude of a hard core do-it-your-selfer to someone who has made it clear that she does not want to do it herself.

Good luck with your decisions. It's hard when there is not really a right answer.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by Kevin M » Fri Jun 02, 2017 8:40 pm

Assuming you are comfortable with only stock and bond funds (as opposed to say, adding CDs into the mix), I'd strongly consider putting everything in all accounts into the same Target Retirement fund. If in the 25% federal tax bracket, the taxable bond funds probably are about the same as a muni fund on a risk-adjusted basis, so really no big deal. If you (or your spouse) will be in a higher tax bracket, then the tax inefficiency probably will cost you less than the PAS service.

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BetaTracker
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by BetaTracker » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:59 pm

Thanks for all of the great input. We've sat down and talked about our options and decided to stick with our three fund portfolio. My wife brought up a lot of things that could go wrong and didn't express a lot of confidence in managing everything on her own. We went over costs of hiring another advisor who might charge 3-4 times what Vanguard does. In the end, she feels like only under ideal circumstances will the doing it herself option prove less costly. So she likes working with PAS if anything happens to me. I like that plan, too, since seeing things from her perspective now makes me feel a lot less anxious about paying Vanguard extra money for advisory fees.
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BrandonBogle
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by BrandonBogle » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:52 am

Glad to hear it. The fees are chump change if it lets her sleep comfortably at night.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by NiceUnparticularMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:16 am

Elbowman wrote:How about all of taxable in Vanguard Tax-Managed Balanced Fund , and all tax-advantaged in an appropriate Target Retirement Fund. You could probably get away with no portfolio changes, ever.
Same thing I was going to recommend.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by NiceUnparticularMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:21 am

dodecahedron wrote: Alternatively, you might set up your accounts with a Vanguard 60/40 fund that now seems to you to have the right mix of international and TIPS but Vanguard fund managers might decide to change those parameters from their current settings in a way that might be suitable for younger folks but not for an elderly widow. Vanguard has certainly made a lot of changes to their LifeStrategy funds in the past. No telling what they might do in the future.
Whatever they do with Target Income and LifeStrategy Income will almost surely be with retirees in mind.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by NiceUnparticularMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:23 am

Kevin M wrote:Assuming you are comfortable with only stock and bond funds (as opposed to say, adding CDs into the mix), I'd strongly consider putting everything in all accounts into the same Target Retirement fund. If in the 25% federal tax bracket, the taxable bond funds probably are about the same as a muni fund on a risk-adjusted basis, so really no big deal. If you (or your spouse) will be in a higher tax bracket, then the tax inefficiency probably will cost you less than the PAS service.

Kevin
I also agree with this.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by NiceUnparticularMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 7:24 am

BetaTracker wrote:Thanks for all of the great input. We've sat down and talked about our options and decided to stick with our three fund portfolio. My wife brought up a lot of things that could go wrong and didn't express a lot of confidence in managing everything on her own. We went over costs of hiring another advisor who might charge 3-4 times what Vanguard does. In the end, she feels like only under ideal circumstances will the doing it herself option prove less costly. So she likes working with PAS if anything happens to me. I like that plan, too, since seeing things from her perspective now makes me feel a lot less anxious about paying Vanguard extra money for advisory fees.
That seems like a good decision.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:04 am

BetaTracker wrote:Thanks for all of the great input. We've sat down and talked about our options and decided to stick with our three fund portfolio. My wife brought up a lot of things that could go wrong and didn't express a lot of confidence in managing everything on her own. We went over costs of hiring another advisor who might charge 3-4 times what Vanguard does. In the end, she feels like only under ideal circumstances will the doing it herself option prove less costly. So she likes working with PAS if anything happens to me. I like that plan, too, since seeing things from her perspective now makes me feel a lot less anxious about paying Vanguard extra money for advisory fees.
As always, listening to your spouse is a good idea :D
I've thought of this also. Paying 30 basis points for PAS goes against my grain, but when the time come it might be the right answer for DW. She's brilliant, but managing money isn't her long suit (she makes it; I manage it).

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by SpringMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:21 am

If you have a joint taxable account, if one spouse passes, be sure the survivor re-adjusts the cost basis for a step up based on the value of each holding at the time of death. 50% of each position would get a cost basis step up. I don't know of brokerages do this automatically, they should. It complicates things more for the survivor.
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by goingup » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:35 am

SpringMan wrote:If you have a joint taxable account, if one spouse passes, be sure the survivor re-adjusts the cost basis for a step up based on the value of each holding at the time of death. 50% of each position would get a cost basis step up. I don't know of brokerages do this automatically, they should. It complicates things more for the survivor.
SpringMan- thanks for that information. I was under the impression that joint taxable accounts did not get the stepped-up treatment when one of the account holders passes. You're saying 50% of the account does. Good to know! (Sorry to go off-topic.)

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SpringMan
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by SpringMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:44 am

goingup wrote:
SpringMan wrote:If you have a joint taxable account, if one spouse passes, be sure the survivor re-adjusts the cost basis for a step up based on the value of each holding at the time of death. 50% of each position would get a cost basis step up. I don't know of brokerages do this automatically, they should. It complicates things more for the survivor.
SpringMan- thanks for that information. I was under the impression that joint taxable accounts did not get the stepped-up treatment when one of the account holders passes. You're saying 50% of the account does. Good to know! (Sorry to go off-topic.)
If I am wrong Bogleheads please let me know. My take is the survivor inherits half of the assets so they should be entitled to the stepped cost basis on the inherited half. Sorry if this is off-topic. I am not a tax expert.
Best Wishes, SpringMan

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by Big Dog » Sat Jun 03, 2017 8:56 am

I'm pretty sure a community property state (like California) gets 100% stepped up basis. (Assumes of course, that assets are held in a community property account.)

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by 1210sda » Sat Jun 03, 2017 10:02 am

BrandonBogle wrote:
Even taking some tax hits in less optimal strategies is worth it for my benefactors knowing them. If your wife similarly does not wish to get to the intricacies of the most efficient portfolio, the lifestrategy fund of your choosing likely incurs less "cost" than the PAS fee.
Totally agree with these statements.

If you don't want international, then the Balanced Index Fund (available in Admiral) should work.

Remember that your surviving spouse will no longer be using "married filing jointly" therefore she'll get to a higher tax bracket more quickly. In this case, a combination of Vanguard Tax Managed Fund in taxable (AA is approx 50/50) and Lifestrategy Moderate Growth or Balanced Index fund can be used. (In this case, your AA would range from no less than 50/50 to no more than 60/40)

I'm in a community property state (Texas) where my taxable accounts are held as community property with right of survivorship (CPWROS). At my death the entire account gets a step up in basis. To take advantage of this, we are not making changes to our portfolio until that point. We have a "Letter of Instructions" to Vanguard asking that the exchange into the appropriate funds not be made until the step up has been established.

1210

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by dodecahedron » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:58 am

NiceUnparticularMan wrote:
dodecahedron wrote: Alternatively, you might set up your accounts with a Vanguard 60/40 fund that now seems to you to have the right mix of international and TIPS but Vanguard fund managers might decide to change those parameters from their current settings in a way that might be suitable for younger folks but not for an elderly widow. Vanguard has certainly made a lot of changes to their LifeStrategy funds in the past. No telling what they might do in the future.
Whatever they do with Target Income and LifeStrategy Income will almost surely be with retirees in mind.
Good point, though not all elderly retirees have the same needs or desires, which is presumably why the OP seems to want a 60/40 fund for his widow in tax-deferred. The current makeup of that 60/40 fund may better reflect their planning priorities for her eventual needs and a desire for legacies than the current Target Income or LS Income funds, but the whole lineup could change in the future with different choices possibly aligning better with those priorities.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by dodecahedron » Sat Jun 03, 2017 12:05 pm

SpringMan wrote:
goingup wrote:
SpringMan wrote:If you have a joint taxable account, if one spouse passes, be sure the survivor re-adjusts the cost basis for a step up based on the value of each holding at the time of death. 50% of each position would get a cost basis step up. I don't know of brokerages do this automatically, they should. It complicates things more for the survivor.
SpringMan- thanks for that information. I was under the impression that joint taxable accounts did not get the stepped-up treatment when one of the account holders passes. You're saying 50% of the account does. Good to know! (Sorry to go off-topic.)
If I am wrong Bogleheads please let me know. My take is the survivor inherits half of the assets so they should be entitled to the stepped cost basis on the inherited half. Sorry if this is off-topic. I am not a tax expert.
Impossible to make any blanket statements about this, because precise tax treatment may depend on things like whether the couple lives in a community property state or not as well as details of how the account was titled. According to IRS Pub 555, there are some circumstances under which a jointly owned asset in a community property state may have its entire basis reset at death, not just half. Consulting with a knowledgeable attorney is a good idea if this kind of detail is important to your planning.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by NiceUnparticularMan » Sat Jun 03, 2017 1:37 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
NiceUnparticularMan wrote:
dodecahedron wrote: Alternatively, you might set up your accounts with a Vanguard 60/40 fund that now seems to you to have the right mix of international and TIPS but Vanguard fund managers might decide to change those parameters from their current settings in a way that might be suitable for younger folks but not for an elderly widow. Vanguard has certainly made a lot of changes to their LifeStrategy funds in the past. No telling what they might do in the future.
Whatever they do with Target Income and LifeStrategy Income will almost surely be with retirees in mind.
Good point, though not all elderly retirees have the same needs or desires, which is presumably why the OP seems to want a 60/40 fund for his widow in tax-deferred. The current makeup of that 60/40 fund may better reflect their planning priorities for her eventual needs and a desire for legacies than the current Target Income or LS Income funds, but the whole lineup could change in the future with different choices possibly aligning better with those priorities.
Yeah, the main variable that could push one toward a higher equity percentage is the intention to leave more to heirs. But there is a lot of uncertainty even with that goal in mind, such that Vanguard is likely to remain within a reasonable range even given that goal.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by BetaTracker » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:48 pm

I hear everyone about going with Balanced Fund or something similar with taxable bonds in a taxable account as opposed to paying up for Vanguard's PAS service. The problem is that I really don't feel like gambling on tax rates over the next 30-40 years, which is what we're ultimately looking at for our lifetime investment horizon. I've also got to feel like the helping hand that Vanguard's advisors can offer a novice like my wife is going to be hard to put a strict valuation on over time.
When we first started thinking about all of this, Vanguard offered to let us talk to a PAS advisor. Although we wound up deciding to manage our own portfolio for the time being, my wife really appreciated his honesty and objectivity. My wife even asked about insurance and health matters, and the PAS advisor was very upfront about his primary focus on serving more as an investment advisor -- not as an estate planning, tax or insurance expert.
Even so, he was educated as a CFP and able to offer us some good resources and suggestions to consider. We did the research, but he was very good about helping us to feel like we could make informed decisions on issues that transcended basic investment portfolio issues. My wife was really impressed with his instance on not overstepping any practical advisement bounds, while still showing an interest and willingness to support us in our search to finding answers to retirement questions beyond basic portfolio matters. I don't know if you can really put a price on that type of objectivity and common sense of purpose.
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by itstoomuch » Sat Jun 03, 2017 5:22 pm

About 75% of our Retirement assets are designed to produce income regardless of direction of Market. There is enough product-asset protection to carry the survivor to well into their 90's and do so without modification. The remaining 25% is allocated to my behavioral, discretionary investing.
YMMV
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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by NiceUnparticularMan » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:45 am

BetaTracker wrote:I hear everyone about going with Balanced Fund or something similar with taxable bonds in a taxable account as opposed to paying up for Vanguard's PAS service. The problem is that I really don't feel like gambling on tax rates over the next 30-40 years, which is what we're ultimately looking at for our lifetime investment horizon. I've also got to feel like the helping hand that Vanguard's advisors can offer a novice like my wife is going to be hard to put a strict valuation on over time.
When we first started thinking about all of this, Vanguard offered to let us talk to a PAS advisor. Although we wound up deciding to manage our own portfolio for the time being, my wife really appreciated his honesty and objectivity. My wife even asked about insurance and health matters, and the PAS advisor was very upfront about his primary focus on serving more as an investment advisor -- not as an estate planning, tax or insurance expert.
Even so, he was educated as a CFP and able to offer us some good resources and suggestions to consider. We did the research, but he was very good about helping us to feel like we could make informed decisions on issues that transcended basic investment portfolio issues. My wife was really impressed with his instance on not overstepping any practical advisement bounds, while still showing an interest and willingness to support us in our search to finding answers to retirement questions beyond basic portfolio matters. I don't know if you can really put a price on that type of objectivity and common sense of purpose.
I think you have your answer--sounds like it is easily worth the price for you all.

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Re: Time to Move Away from 3-Fund Portfolio?

Post by MN Finance » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:31 am

I've been through this before. If something happens to you it's highly unlikely your spouse will continue with your pre approved plan. It just doesn't happen.

One option will be to set up your needed plan in advance. While you may not need the help now, it's much more likely that your spouse continues something that's already in place.

It's also highly likely, depending on the circumstances and dynamics at your death, that dealing with a call center of rotating advisors will not be palatable. In this case, you would be best served spending the time to interview a local firm, build a relationship, and make clear what you are looking for if/when that day comes. Then there's a break glass in emergency phone number with someone who can guide the process. This is a far better alternative than some goofball getting their hands on her in a time of crisis.

If you're 50, then your current plan may be fine. If you're 75, then I would think about my advice. You can disagree with all this. But I've seen this play out many times. This all assumes you don't have a child who would willingly step in to carry out your current plan and act in your stead.

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