Search found 3030 matches

by GerryL
Sat Nov 07, 2020 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Skip RMD in 2020, Estimated Tax Benefit in 2021?
Replies: 9
Views: 903

Re: Skip RMD in 2020, Estimated Tax Benefit in 2021?

Earlier this year when RMD's were no longer "R" I changed my Vanguard account to eliminate the withdrawal. Then I used my 2019 tax software to do a "What if" tax return without last years RMD. I was shocked to learn that I would not own any taxes but that appeared to be the case...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:37 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Retirement Planning - Advice Sought
Replies: 4
Views: 734

Re: Retirement Planning - Advice Sought

From the perspective of someone who chose to take two mini non-COLA annuities and lump sum another amount: I looked at what I expected to have coming in from SS and saw the mini-annuities (<$700/mo combined) as a way to top off my expected monthly income and cover basic expenses. The bit of added in...
by GerryL
Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: No RMD required this year
Replies: 39
Views: 3178

Re: No RMD required this year

We could say that the MD is not R this year.

This is a nice benefit for people who have the wherewithal to skip that infusion of cash, and I appreciate it. Much less of my SS will be taxed this year.
by GerryL
Thu Nov 05, 2020 10:06 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Decision? 4-Fund Portfolio to 3-Fund? Why or why not?
Replies: 12
Views: 1217

Re: Decision? 4-Fund Portfolio to 3-Fund? Why or why not?

OP here. Thanks all for your input. I found the discussion helpful. I think that for now I will leave my IRA as is. As someone noted inertia = stay the course. In response to some of your comments: @JoinToday Do you use excel? I have some calculations set up where I can specify the amount I want to ...
by GerryL
Wed Nov 04, 2020 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Decision? 4-Fund Portfolio to 3-Fund? Why or why not?
Replies: 12
Views: 1217

Decision? 4-Fund Portfolio to 3-Fund? Why or why not?

I was just reading Taylor Larimore’s Bogleheads’ Guide to the Three-Fund Portfolio and started thinking (again) about whether I should make a change from my current 4-fund model to the basic 3-fund. I know that some folks here (plus the late Jack Bogle) are not at all impressed with adding internati...
by GerryL
Tue Nov 03, 2020 8:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 8 Steps to Make Sure You Don't Go Broke in Retirement - Allan Roth
Replies: 85
Views: 10549

Re: 8 Steps to Make Sure You Don't Go Broke in Retirement - Allan Roth

From the article: 3. Inventory what makes you happy. Analyze your nondiscretionary expenses and recall which ones brought you bliss. Typically, the new car doesn't bring as much long-term happiness as taking the grandkids out for a meal or on a vacation. Financial journalist Jonathan Clements notes ...
by GerryL
Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare Part D 2021
Replies: 13
Views: 1354

Re: Medicare Part D 2021

I am also seeing SilverScript being less expensive than Elixir which I have now. I only take generics. The unknown in always the one or two time med you need that always seems to be a high tier and little or nothing is covered, but you can't plan for that unknown easily. Can you switch Part D insur...
by GerryL
Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: How to invest my Roth IRA contributions during election?
Replies: 12
Views: 973

Re: How to invest my Roth IRA contributions during election?

Election is irrelevant. Most people here will recommend going all in if you have the cash to invest in your Roth now. Some may suggest stretching it out (dollar cost average - DCA) over several months if that makes you feel a little more comfortable. Say, $1k a month for 5 months. This is a long-ter...
by GerryL
Sat Oct 31, 2020 10:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Home Printer/Scanner
Replies: 33
Views: 1625

Re: Home Printer/Scanner

I've been happy with my Brother multi-function B&W laser printer for many years now. It has a sheet feeder that can be used to make copies, but I have rarely tried it. If I'm copying multiple pages, I just use the flat-bed feature. I have been unable to download the appropriate printer driver to...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 30, 2020 8:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: removed
Replies: 136
Views: 8470

Re: Heat - What do you set your temps to in Winter?

67 when we're home, which is all the time these days. For those setting to lower temp at night, how does that work. Don't you wake up freezing (because body temp drops when you sleep, and presumably everyone here sleeps at night)? Programmable thermostat! The furnace starts before I actually wake up.
by GerryL
Fri Oct 30, 2020 3:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: removed
Replies: 136
Views: 8470

Re: Heat - What do you set your temps to in Winter?

I'm in the Pacific Northwest. Gas/forced air heating. My thermostat is set at 67 days / 62 nights -- when I finally turn on the furnace. If I will be gone for the day (not often currently) I move it down to 65. As I have gotten older, I have taken to goosing the day/evening temps up to 69 or 70 if m...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 29, 2020 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What's the consensus on Employee Stock Purchase Plans?
Replies: 51
Views: 2114

Re: What's the consensus on Employee Stock Purchase Plans?

I participated in an ESPP for about 20 years at my former employer. The plan purchase went through every 6 months using the $$ that we had withheld from each paycheck in that period. We got a 15% discount and could do an instant sale if we selected that option ahead of time. No required holding peri...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 29, 2020 2:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to find the cheapest motel along an interstate?
Replies: 60
Views: 3414

Re: How to find the cheapest motel along an interstate?

I also pick up the motel booklets whenever I enter a state and use that as a baseline. Over the years I have joined a number of reward programs for low-to-mid-priced motel networks. I check their websites, for the best prices. Each reward program generally has different chains or brands from cheapo ...
by GerryL
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: first million [in your retirement portfolio]
Replies: 215
Views: 35559

Re: first million [in your retirement portfolio]

Looking back, I recall now that I hit my first million around the age of 60. Didn't start until I was in my mid 40s, but had never gotten myself into debt that I needed to dig out of. I probably inherited about $25k, most of which I invested. (That does not include inherited cash and stock I eventua...
by GerryL
Wed Oct 28, 2020 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Drinking water at home
Replies: 72
Views: 4723

Re: Drinking water at home

Another option: Move to Oregon. Tap water here is fine.
by GerryL
Tue Oct 27, 2020 4:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MediGap pricing — is the coverage different between Plan G policies?
Replies: 24
Views: 1244

Re: MediGap pricing — is the coverage different between Plan G policies?

This is very helpful. Now I’m beginning to understand the variables: name recognition, inertia, side benefits, perhaps pricing model (family tends to live a very long time) ,and something I wouldn’t have thought of which is customer service, which might matter a lot in Medicare World. Another quest...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 27, 2020 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: MediGap pricing — is the coverage different between Plan G policies?
Replies: 24
Views: 1244

Re: MediGap pricing — is the coverage different between Plan G policies?

Here in Oregon, at least in my market, all (or almost all) plans are Attained Age, so the price difference is even more mysterious. For my initial decision 6 years ago, I checked the websites of the different companies -- if they had them -- and narrowed down to two or three that presented their inf...
by GerryL
Sun Oct 25, 2020 7:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Will I really need 80% replacement during retirement?
Replies: 118
Views: 10837

Re: Will I really need 80% replacement during retirement?

I hate that "80% replacement" trope. It's a lazy shortcut. As others here have said, it's not the income, it's the outgo.

Understand your expenses before you try to guesstimate what income you will want to live on.
by GerryL
Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spending excess income
Replies: 44
Views: 3362

Re: Spending excess income

So I am in late 30s and things are on track as per BH principles. I get this occasional feeling of living the life. I am not going to splurge with my current income. However, if I start earning more will it be prudent to spend that excess income on things? Thank you. Even when you have "excess...
by GerryL
Sat Oct 24, 2020 8:32 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: If an older person has an IRA they want to roll over to their children
Replies: 12
Views: 1210

Re: If an older person has an IRA they want to roll over to their children

He plans on just giving his 300k IRA to his children, to invest for their own IRA and holds about a mill between his cash accounts and properties for himself. I'm pretty certain that the only way to "give" an IRA to anyone is to list them as a beneficiary ... and then die. At that point t...
by GerryL
Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:21 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMDs
Replies: 33
Views: 2826

Re: RMDs

Can you direct QCD to a DAF and do they always send a proper acknowledgement? You already got the answer to the answer to the QCD -> DAF question (No). Regarding the acknowledgement, it is up to the charity. They are supposed to do it but if it's a small operation with limited office staff, it may ...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:38 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMDs
Replies: 33
Views: 2826

Re: RMDs

To carry this thread one step further and keeping with the QCD/RMD theme... The premise: Suppose one exchanges tIRA stock/bond fund(s) into a checkwriting MMF also in the tIRA, in the amount of the desired QCD for the year, then writes QCD checks on that MMF, draining it to near zero, all this bein...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 23, 2020 3:54 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMDs
Replies: 33
Views: 2826

Re: RMDs

I've been doing it at the beginning of the year, once I have a firm number for the RMD. I was thinking I might also do it toward the end of the (previous) year, when I have a rough estimate, if I have a lot of gains. Some people prefer to move to cash as they take each portion of the RMD (monthly, ...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 23, 2020 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: RMDs
Replies: 33
Views: 2826

Re: RMDs

I've been doing it at the beginning of the year, once I have a firm number for the RMD. I was thinking I might also do it toward the end of the (previous) year, when I have a rough estimate, if I have a lot of gains. Some people prefer to move to cash as they take each portion of the RMD (monthly, q...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 22, 2020 6:57 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What I don't get about Part D drug coverage
Replies: 12
Views: 1171

Re: What I don't get about Part D drug coverage

It is very confusing the way the information is written, but I have gotten used to the process over the years. I narrow the choices down to my current Part D plan and one or two others that I want to consider. I mark them to compare, but only the most basic info is shown side-by-side on the screen....
by GerryL
Thu Oct 22, 2020 5:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What I don't get about Part D drug coverage
Replies: 12
Views: 1171

Re: What I don't get about Part D drug coverage

It is very confusing the way the information is written, but I have gotten used to the process over the years. I narrow the choices down to my current Part D plan and one or two others that I want to consider. I mark them to compare, but only the most basic info is shown side-by-side on the screen. ...
by GerryL
Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A bit embarrassing, but I was looking at SS wrong
Replies: 60
Views: 9168

Re: A bit embarrassing, but I was looking at SS wrong

I always evaluated taking SS early, FRA or at 70 at breakeven (around 80 yrs old) in SS benefits. So I was planning for FRA. When I include SS early benefits in my Excel spreadsheet along with my actual annual living expenses and current IRA balance and estimated returns at 4.5% (Vanguard 2025 Targ...
by GerryL
Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: 72 year old, wanting to put investments in "auto pilot" mode, please advise
Replies: 25
Views: 3315

Re: 72 year old, wanting to put investments in "auto pilot" mode, please advise

Regarding where he plans to put the excess from his RMD: If "his bank" is brick and mortar, you might want to suggest that he open an account at an online bank where he will get a better interest rate. Not that interest rates are great anywhere these days, but no sense throwing money away.
by GerryL
Wed Oct 21, 2020 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LT care premiums are going way up; should I self-insure?
Replies: 35
Views: 3743

Re: LT care premiums are going way up; should I self-insure?

Yes, this is anecdotal... There's data supporting it. This chart https://1.bp.blogspot.com/_g6b7lckX2zE/THX7D3XuBpI/AAAAAAAABVI/fk7-z20ukqo/s1600/Screen+shot+2010-08-25+at+10.25.58+PM.png is said to be taken from this journal article. The long tail is evident. This is no normal distribution, it mig...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 20, 2020 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: retirees? fixed amount vs fixed %
Replies: 39
Views: 2514

Re: retirees? fixed amount vs fixed %

The only withdrawing I have been doing is taking the annual distribution from my IRA, but then I reinvest into a taxable account what I don't need. I keep an eye on the percentage, but so far I have been able to stay around 2% of my total portfolio (IRA/Roth/Taxable) so not worried.
by GerryL
Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Funds considerations
Replies: 51
Views: 2810

Re: Donor Advised Funds considerations

Is it worth it to get a DAF if you plan to donate less than $5k per year? Fidelity questionnaire seems to indicate no, don’t bother. I’m not sure why? Maybe. I can see two cases: 1. A DAF allows you to separate the timing of your donations (to the DAF) from the distributions to the ultimate chariti...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: LT care premiums are going way up; should I self-insure?
Replies: 35
Views: 3743

Re: LT care premiums are going way up; should I self-insure?

Just a note to make sure you've aware you might qualify for a tax credit on your premium payments. It's allowed in Oregon for some policies: https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/315.610 Thank you very much for the tip! I wasn't aware of that tax benefit. I bookmarked the page and will refer back to it wh...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: H&R Block 2020 software offer
Replies: 418
Views: 31659

Re: H&R Block 2020 software offer

A few weeks ago I was thinking about when I should get the new H&R Block tax software. Then I realized that with no RMD, my income is probably low enough for me to qualify again for free filing with Online Taxes (OLT). I was using that software until RMDs put me over the income limit. Unlike oth...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 19, 2020 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Donor Advised Funds considerations
Replies: 51
Views: 2810

Re: Donor Advised Funds considerations

Ah - so if not itemizing should donate shares directly to charity rather than DAF? Since the increase in the standard deduction, I am bundling my deductions in even-numbered years. So this year I made a double donation into my DAF that I will give ("recommend") out to charities over two y...
by GerryL
Sat Oct 17, 2020 5:13 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Items that are worth the money for the quality
Replies: 490
Views: 41583

Re: Items that are worth the money for the quality

Classic clothing that doesn't go out of style. I have a high-end, brand name trench coat that cost quite a bit more than I wanted to spend, even though it was on sale. But it was exactly what I was looking for -- >30 years ago. Over the years I had to have the lining replaced and a few fixes made, b...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 15, 2020 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Best Donor Advised Fund that is NOT a bank/wirehouse?
Replies: 32
Views: 2290

Re: Best Donor Advised Fund that is NOT a bank/wirehouse?

Another issue is that donating from a DAF complicates getting any employer match to your donations that you may be eligible for. My former employer matches donations made from my DAF. I just need to make sure I get an appropriate acknowledgement letter with all of the "magic words" that t...
by GerryL
Thu Oct 15, 2020 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Deductible Medicare Plan G and Plan F
Replies: 8
Views: 1090

Re: High Deductible Medicare Plan G and Plan F

I have had an F-HD plan for my first 6 years on Medicare. Just switched to G-HD, which is a switch you are allowed to do in Oregon within 30 after your birthday. I chose the high deductible path because I do not regularly use a lot of heathcare services. I often don't even get up to the Medicare ded...
by GerryL
Tue Oct 13, 2020 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How do Bogleheads cope with not beating the market?
Replies: 142
Views: 11167

Re: How do Bogleheads cope with not beating the market?

I focus on having ENOUGH rather than having MORE.
Do I have or am I on track to have ENOUGH to live the life I want? Yes. John Bogle wrote a little book titled "Enough."

Ironically, by focusing on enough, I ended up with more than enough.
by GerryL
Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:17 am
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: What would be an "ok" amount in Roth
Replies: 9
Views: 2128

Re: What would be an "ok" amount in Roth

I visualize my investments in roughly equal "blocks" or parts: IRA to Roth to Taxable looks like 4 : 1 : 2. The Roth amount is what I was able to get into it in the limited number of years I had to max it out. I started putting $$ in as soon as the Roth became available and had to stop in ...
by GerryL
Sat Oct 10, 2020 2:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime - Value?
Replies: 146
Views: 15511

Re: Amazon Prime - Value?

Recently saw that "Amazon Day", where orders can be bundled for a single delivery on a specific day is a thing, and apparently while going through the motions of an order, set my day to Wednesday. Chatting with a rep, found out that once selected, you can't undo having an Amazon Day, just...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 09, 2020 9:56 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "Active" Index investing vs. "Passive" Index investing
Replies: 197
Views: 8166

Re: "Active" investing vs. "Passive" investing

OP, I'm a person who was pretty much like you described. Didn't settle down into a "serious" job until I was into my 40s, although I had managed to sock a few thousand away in retirement vehicles in the previous half decade. I didn't know anything about active versus passive investing at t...
by GerryL
Mon Oct 05, 2020 8:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Is now the time to think about active investing??
Replies: 32
Views: 3368

Re: Is now the time to think about active investing??

You've probably seen those commercials for newly released movies where someone is (ostensibly) interviewing people as they come out of the theater. Of course, these folks are gushing about how great the film is. Producers skip previewing a disappointing film for critics when they know it will likely...
by GerryL
Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you have a pension, how do you view it?
Replies: 203
Views: 14837

Re: If you have a pension, how do you view it?

I have two tiny pensions that together account for <20% of my stable income stream, the rest of which is SS. They are non-COLAed, so over time they will account for a shrinking portion. But having the extra income is far better than a sharp stick in the eye, as my dad would have said. The smaller of...
by GerryL
Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What fund(s) are in your taxable account?
Replies: 138
Views: 11322

Re: What fund(s) are in your taxable account?

Do these balanced funds in taxable generate a lot of taxes? Some taxes on the quarterly dividends. It's not onerous. Almost half of the quarterly dividends last year were counted as classified. I started investing in the balanced fund before I learned about the the tax consequences of having bonds ...
by GerryL
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:54 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What fund(s) are in your taxable account?
Replies: 138
Views: 11322

Re: What fund(s) are in your taxable account?

I've long had Balanced Index fund as my only fund in taxable. Keeps life simple since I intend to maintain a 60/40 AA. I only need to rebalance in IRA and Roth.
by GerryL
Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:50 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How do you stay organized?
Replies: 17
Views: 1630

Re: How do you stay organized?

I maintain appointments/meetings on my desktop and mail them to my iphone. (They used to be synced up, but that inexplicably stopped). Also, on the side of my fridge, and visible from where I often sit perched at my counter, is a sort of 2-week calendar where I post sticky notes for upcoming activit...
by GerryL
Sat Sep 26, 2020 3:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Were you nervous when you retired?
Replies: 98
Views: 10541

Re: Were you nervous when you retired?

Maybe reading a book will help. Some folks got value out of reading the book What Color Is My Parachute For Retirement? It is not really about the financial side of retirement, but about the emotional side of retirement. There are plenty of other books about the financial side, and I believe you ve...
by GerryL
Sat Sep 26, 2020 1:19 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Were you nervous when you retired?
Replies: 98
Views: 10541

Re: Were you nervous when you retired?

I had been planning my retirement for several years but ended up retiring a year early thanks to an offer with severance that almost completely covered the last year. It was a few months before my 66th birthday. I figured that it would take me a few weeks to settle into my new life. No such thing. I...
by GerryL
Thu Sep 24, 2020 5:11 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buckets in Retirement
Replies: 97
Views: 7967

Re: Buckets in Retirement

If I have ended up with any "buckets," it's cash and everything else. I probably keep more in cash than many, but as my cash stash grows (from dividends and RMDs), I move excess into a balanced mutual fund in my taxable account, thereby increasing the next round of dividends. Isn't a bala...
by GerryL
Thu Sep 24, 2020 2:31 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Buckets in Retirement
Replies: 97
Views: 7967

Re: Buckets in Retirement

I looked at the bucket approach as a way to simplify money management in retirement. But then I realized that after setting up the buckets I would still have to manage moving funds to keep the buckets at the appropriate level. Found it more confusing than clarifying. It does seem hard to imagine ho...