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Re: US Education system investments

I not sure I understand the question. You think parents drop the ball in middle school/high school? As in, you think they're willing to pay for top-notch private pre-k and elementary education but not middle and high school education. I don't think that's true. I think the overwhelming majority of U...
by Rupert
Wed Oct 15, 2014 1:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: US Education system investments
Replies: 9
Views: 504

Re: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you o

There are several prior posts on this issue. Even after you get the problem "fixed," it tends to pop up again at the end of your current contract period with Comcast. So keep watching your bills closely. It happens so frequently and to so many people that I cannot believe it's an accident....
by Rupert
Tue Oct 14, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: You may be getting charged rent for a router/modem you own
Replies: 16
Views: 1875

Re: Can I open up a Roth IRA for my 6 year old?

Actually a family I know operates their own business employs their seven year old to do paper shredding every other week. I think he earned about $3,000 last year which they carefully logged and paid at a reasonable rate. Their son contributed most of this to his Roth, and in this case I see nothin...
by Rupert
Mon Oct 06, 2014 2:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I open up a Roth IRA for my 6 year old?
Replies: 32
Views: 3151

Re: Can I open up a Roth IRA for my 6 year old?

Actually a family I know operates their own business employs their seven year old to do paper shredding every other week. I think he earned about $3,000 last year which they carefully logged and paid at a reasonable rate. Their son contributed most of this to his Roth, and in this case I see nothin...
by Rupert
Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:41 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Can I open up a Roth IRA for my 6 year old?
Replies: 32
Views: 3151

Re: Identity theft?

Does anyone know if freezing your credit affects having false inquires expunged? Freezing your credit will not result in the inquiry being expunged. Usually, only the merchant who pulled your credit in error can have an inquiry removed. Transunion and Experian will allow a consumer to challenge an ...
by Rupert
Sun Oct 05, 2014 3:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Identity theft?
Replies: 10
Views: 1248

Re: JPM Chase hacked

Until the hackers and identity thieves are treated and prosecuted for what they are, thieves and criminals, these crimes will continue to escalate. Ummm, they are prosecuted as thieves and criminals when they are caught inside the United States. I represent them everyday. There's a two-year mandato...
by Rupert
Fri Oct 03, 2014 9:04 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: JPM Chase hacked
Replies: 13
Views: 1850

Re: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds cas

... While this is a statute of limitations case, the Supreme Court would be (hopefully) affirming the 9th Circuit's judgment that "the defendants were imprudent in deciding to include retail-class shares of three specific mutual funds in the plan menu because they failed to investigate the pos...
by Rupert
Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds case
Replies: 13
Views: 1350

Re: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds cas

The order granting cert is here . Briefs are here . The question presented is as follows: Whether a claim that ERISA plan fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence by offering higher-cost retail-class mutual funds to plan participants, even though identical lower-cost institution-class mutual fun...
by Rupert
Thu Oct 02, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Supreme Court to hear fiduciary duty/high cost funds case
Replies: 13
Views: 1350

Re: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?

I agree about the EF being first priority, but in your situation, given how late you're starting to think about retirement savings, I might use Roth IRAs (for you and your wife) as a large component of my EF. Only after all available retirement accounts are maxed out would I contribute a dime to 529...
by Rupert
Wed Oct 01, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I crazy to try to tackle all 4 issues at once?
Replies: 29
Views: 3112

Re: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident

Possibly the driver had an old insurance card and the parents recently switched insurance companies? If I were you, I'd let my insurance company handle it. I would not contact the other party directly, as anything you say to them could come back to bite you later. They might, for example, claim you ...
by Rupert
Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:38 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Possible Uninsured Motorist accident - UPDATE
Replies: 47
Views: 3295

Re: Car (new OR old) for mother & baby

Honda Odyssey. You can get a gently used EX with low mileage for around $25,000. If you're willing to accept the base model LX, you can get one even cheaper. Minivans remain the safest and most convenient means of transporting small children.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:40 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car (new OR old) for mother & baby
Replies: 19
Views: 1150

Re: Question about medicare, myself, and spouse

You'll need to talk to your employer's benefits person and read your insurance contract carefully. My company's insurance drops you the minute you become eligible for Medicare, but the employer pays some amount towards the cost of Medicare supplemental coverage. Coverage for employee spouses and dep...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 25, 2014 2:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Question about medicare, myself, and spouse
Replies: 9
Views: 783

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

We have a non-emergency surgery scheduled for my son, and I have been trying to do my due diligence (esp having read that nytimes article!) I have been flabbergasted at how little information they are willing to give us. We're on phone call #3 or 4 already, and I still don't know how much it will c...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 174
Views: 7829

Re: Move Class C Fund

Welcome. No, you're not limited. Edward Jones will liquidate the fund(s) you currently own. You may pay a back-end load or redemption fee on that transaction since they're Class C shares. Then you can roll the cash over into a Vanguard IRA, if that's what you want to do, and buy whatever Vanguard fu...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 23, 2014 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Move Class C Fund
Replies: 2
Views: 230

Re: Advice for student buying cheap used car

Best bet by far is to find a well-to-do relative (even a distant uncle) and explain your situation, and ask them to give you a heasd up if they ever think of replacing their current vehicle. You'd be surprised at how many people have perfectly good cars, but have been thinking about upgrading it be...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 23, 2014 1:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Advice for student buying cheap used car
Replies: 54
Views: 3248

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

Since there are several doctors reading and writing in this thread, I would like to ask: would it be better to eliminate insurance entirely? I have said for years that we need to return to paying our providers directly for service. The only reason many of us have health insurance at all is that hea...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 174
Views: 7829

Re: Car Accident Responsibility for Borrowed Cars

I Googled the answer for you. Here's what Esurance says: Car insurance follows the car If you're thinking of letting someone drive your car for a few hours, days, or weeks, keep in mind that you're not only lending your car, you're also lending your car insurance. In most states, comprehensive and c...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Accident Responsibility for Borrowed Cars
Replies: 13
Views: 943

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

Perhaps this is a naive question but lawyers have gotten many dings in this thread so I'll ask it anyway: As a condition to holding a law license in my state, lawyers must submit to oversight by the State Bar when a client disputes a bill. A client can complain to the State Bar about a lawyer's fee ...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 174
Views: 7829

Re: How to pay for Home Addition

You described your house as a "bungalow." Is it historic, and is it in a designated historic district? If not historic, then you can ignore everything that follows. If historic, contact the local body that regulates historic districts before seeing an architect or a contractor. Sometimes t...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for Home Addition
Replies: 23
Views: 2139

Re: Home Security System

We had ADT install our home security system 3 years ago. The monthly monitoring fee has remained the same for those 3 years. However, now they want to increase the monthly fee. While I can probably haggle them back to the original fee, this might be a good time to shop around. Can you use a differe...
by Rupert
Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ADT Home Security System
Replies: 9
Views: 981

Re: Identity theft protection

Just a note to clarify the previous comment: Freezing your credit prevents new accounts opened in your name from affecting your credit. It does not prevent new accounts from being opened in your name. Someone could still steal your identity and open a new account using your information. Somewhat sur...
by Rupert
Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Identity theft protection
Replies: 9
Views: 707

Re: We have a grocery problem...

It's hard for two people who work and have long commutes to prepare home-cooked meals. I wouldn't stress about it unless it is causing you actual financial problems. That being said, you could save a lot of money by just brown-bagging lunch and cutting out the fast food. You'd also be healthier. Alt...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 158
Views: 10836

Re: House broken into--please help

As a PP said, burglars are, generally speaking, not the most sophisticated of criminals. They're looking for stuff they can quickly convert to cash. They probably won't know what to do with the Passport, but there's a rather lucrative market for stolen identity documents in the undocumented alien po...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House broken into--please help
Replies: 16
Views: 2377

Re: Do you plan trips on your own or use a TA?

There are still travel agents?
by Rupert
Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?
Replies: 36
Views: 1569

Re: New Laptop, need help

Andyrunner: Not sure if you've pulled the trigger on that new laptop yet. I've read that Microsoft has scheduled a press conference on Sept 30, and it is widely expected that they will make some sort of announcement about the next iteration of Windows, Windows 9, on that date. Rumor has it that Wind...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2239

Re: Good hobby for a bright/obsessive 9 year old?

Most of his hobbies appear to be solo pursuits, and most of the recommendations for new hobbies that I've read so far are also, at least largely, solo pursuits (chess, even tennis). I love introverts, especially nerdy ones, so don't take this the wrong way. But does he play with other kids? It's def...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good hobby for a bright/obsessive 9 year old?
Replies: 73
Views: 3187

Re: Should I get an Estate Planner?

Given the probable size of your estate, you should see an estate planning attorney. You need estate tax planning, not just estate planning.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get an Estate Planner?
Replies: 9
Views: 785

Re: New Laptop, need help

I've been shopping for laptops lately too and haven't found any deals better than the ones offered by Dell at its website. I think Dell is still fine, although I generally choose them because we use Dells at work and my IT guy has boxes of spare parts (power cords, batteries, etc.) that I'm able to ...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2239

Re: how to use I-Bonds as an Emergency Fund?

I only consider the value of my redeemable (i.e., older than one year) I Bonds as part of my emergency fund.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to use I-Bonds as an Emergency Fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1215

Re: Car Advice: When to Replace?

I have found that having a roof rack solves many of life's problems. Always have one car with a roof rack.
by Rupert
Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Advice: When to Replace?
Replies: 37
Views: 2874

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

I would echo poster "Alan S" comments above. Get it done right the first time, by a local company you (and your neighbors) trust, which actually honors their warranty, and will come out on a Sunday evening at 8 p.m. in a downpour, which (of course) is when stuff leaks. We just finished ou...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 3023

Re: What type of assets can a lawyer see that you have?

What's to prevent someone from filing a bogus lawsuit simply for the purpose of discovering someone's assets as a prelude to identity theft? The substantial filing fees that most courts charge today. In federal court, for example, it costs about $400 to file a civil suit. Not to mention the fact th...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What type of assets can a lawyer see that you have?
Replies: 32
Views: 4114

Re: Neighborhood kid around 13 throwing rocks at my house

Criminal defense lawyer here: Please don't call the police. A charge, even a misdemeanor one like trespassing or criminal mischief, can have lifetime consequences for a kid who is probably just bored. Approach him directly and firmly and say, "Hey kid, I know you're throwing rocks at my house. ...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Neighborhood kid around 13 throwing rocks at my house
Replies: 55
Views: 3184

Re: Anyone have a house with a pool?

I pay about $400/year for membership for my entire family in a local swim club. It's a five-minute drive, and we can use the Olympic-sized pool as much as we want between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As a bonus, my kids get to compete on the club swim team if they want to. I never have to clean the p...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house with a pool?
Replies: 32
Views: 2449

Re: Advice for a Vanguard 401(k) plan?

You can offer model portfolios, based on age/expected retirement date and risk tolerance. Or you can hire an hourly-fee advisor to come in periodically to educate the employees about the funds in the plan and make recommendations to them. Or you can just tell them that the employer is not an investm...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for a Vanguard 401(k) plan?
Replies: 5
Views: 399

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

Just to give you an idea of the insurance costs: I live in a mid-size city about 40 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. I know people in my town who live in average homes ($200,000-300,000 in value) and who paid upwards of $4000-5000 a year just for wind coverage following hurricanes Ivan and Katrina...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2172

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

You should max retirement accounts before even considering saving for a second home. And let me warn you about beach houses on the Florida Gulf Coast, which is very near where I live: The insurance will kill you, not just financially but also emotionally as you have to scramble to find insurance and...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2172

Re: Tennis Role Reversal

Am an avid 64 yr old tennis player who plays all ages---pretty competitively. Don't make the mistake that age is the end all and be all. My first tournament I was in my mid 20s and I was to play an "old" 40 yr old...he best me 6-0, 6-0. Play and enjoy yourself, you might be surprised ho w...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tennis Role Reversal
Replies: 13
Views: 1315

Re: Life insurance with a smoking spouse

Yikes, smoking is expensive. Does he have access to a group policy through his employer or union or some other professional affiliation that might be cheaper? I'd look into that. As for the policy on you, perhaps consider a smaller policy, perhaps a $500,000 policy, since you're not the family bread...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance with a smoking spouse
Replies: 38
Views: 1310

Re: Atlanta - recommendations on where to live

Decatur would be my first recommendation. The homes are older, but many of them have been gutted and updated in recent years. The neighborhood around Agnes Scott College is great.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Atlanta - recommendations on where to live
Replies: 24
Views: 1358

Re: Tennis Role Reversal

My experience playing teenagers is this: They like to hit the ball hard and flat, and they play a baseline game. My strategy when playing them is to not play their game. I try to draw them into the net and then hit lobs over their heads. I also try to take pace off my shots, even my serves. They see...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tennis Role Reversal
Replies: 13
Views: 1315

Re: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?

The employer also knows your rate of 401k contributions and how much your balance is in your 401k, so they know about some of your cushion... ? I question whether they know the balance. I would like to think there is a firewall between custodian and employer. Can someone confirm? They know the bala...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?
Replies: 72
Views: 8318

Re: Issues with home inspector?

I know the contract I signed for my home inspection gives me virtually no recourse. I think I could win up to $300 in arbitration. Housing is an undiversified risk. Sometimes you get unlucky. You can probably get a token sum back from the home inspection company with an informal complaint, but you ...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1135

Re: Issues with home inspector?

Sorry to hear about your issues. Sounded like you needed a "Holmes" inspection. I found Mike Holmes Canadian TV show about sub-par homes inspections and the unfortunate results extremely informative on the process. Just curious, instead of paying $500 for a standard home inspection, has a...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1135

Re: Issues with home inspector?

What sort of paperwork did you sign when you contracted with the home inspector? Read it carefully because their liability is often limited to the price you paid for the home inspection. You might get your $500 back.
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1135

Re: Lawnmower/gas issues

I've had the same problem with my mower and weed eater. My repair guy also says it's the ethanol in the gas gunking up the engines. He recommended buying non-ethanol gas from a station that caters mostly to recreational boaters. There are lots of recreational boaters where I live; so that's easy eno...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower/gas issues
Replies: 48
Views: 2138

Re: Do my in-laws need a will?

rooms222 has given you a good link. She will not -- I repeat, will NOT -- inherit everything if her husband dies without a will. Some portion of the estate will go to her and some portion to her children. Accounts and property owned jointly or with designated beneficiaries will not go into the estat...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do my in-laws need a will?
Replies: 26
Views: 1899

Re: Cord Blood Banking

Before my kids were born, I read the following post at NY Times and decided against it: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009 ... lk-yester/
by Rupert
Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1234

Re: Kitchen "Backsplash" question

You should consider that it's just going to happen again after you do all that work to correct it. So you should tile the area. I've even seen people mount plexiglass on the wall behind the stove. I suppose that would be the cheapest option.
by Rupert
Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen "Backsplash" question
Replies: 14
Views: 1958

Re: Is a college degree really worth what it costs?

The Upshot, over at the NY Times, published this piece this afternoon that is very relevant to this discussion: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/upshot/the-economic-price-of-colleges-failures.html?rref=upshot&abt=0002&abg=1 Here are the final two paragraphs of the article: "On average,...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a college degree really worth what it costs?
Replies: 33
Views: 1838
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