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Re: Sale of house-closing tomorrow, buyer is backing out

With only $750 of earnest money, the buyer may have been having reservations from the beginning. This is too little on the line to compel him to complete the deal and it's surprising that the agent suggested you accept such an offer.
by downshiftme
Mon Oct 13, 2014 2:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of house-closing tomorrow, buyer is backing out
Replies: 60
Views: 5036

Re: Had a bad experience with Amica

I have twice tried to insure my home with Amica. In both cases, they refused based on the age of the house. In both cases, the house was in a neighborhood of similarly aged houses, so they do no business in those neighborhoods. As near as I can tell they only want to insure houses constructed since ...
by downshiftme
Wed Oct 01, 2014 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Had a bad experience with Amica
Replies: 25
Views: 2030

Re: "How Retirement Fees Cost You"

Don't quote me on technicalities, but last I checked, you can roll-over at ANYTIME on an annual basis (that means 1 roll-over per-year, no exceptions to that rule)


This is not available in the vast majority of plans. I have never had a plan that allowed in service rollovers.
by downshiftme
Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How Retirement Fees Cost You"
Replies: 28
Views: 2839

Re: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 4

Regardless of the 401k situation, I doubt I would take a new job that only offered a few thousand more in compensation unless there was some other significant reason to do so. Since I will likely only change jobs a few times in my career, I would want each change to be a meaningful improvement.
by downshiftme
Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 921

Re: MetLife Guarantee Advantage Universal Life Policy

I am not an insurance expert, but I'm not at all clear on what you are requesting. You have held this policy for six years (since 2008) and it seems pretty late to undo that transaction. Not only that, but having sold stock at a market low in 2008, even if you could un-buy this policy, there is no r...
by downshiftme
Tue Sep 02, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MetLife Guarantee Advantage Universal Life Policy
Replies: 5
Views: 346

Re: Are these [401k] options terrible?

I worked for a company that had a plan like this. We were a small outfit and the CFO claimed that he couldn't find a plan that didn't charge high fees to administer the plan, due to the small total dollars invested. If this is similar, the AMC fee is the administration fee being charged to participa...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are these [401k] options terrible?
Replies: 28
Views: 2151

Re: Advice for my mother (Widowed @ 62)

If she were to use this portfolio for income during her retirement, the projected 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate would be split with 2.58% going to the adviser for fees and 1.42% going to her. Try asking her if she's content with paying her adviser 64% of her income for those few meetings. This arrangement...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for my mother (Widowed @ 62)
Replies: 13
Views: 1405

Re: Would you tip this tour guide?

I would certainly make my discomfort apparent in three ways: the tip, subsequent communication with the business, and on web review sites. As a general aside, I am perplexed when people say you should fully tip waiters, tour guides, etc. no matter how displeased you are, "that it's not his/her...
by downshiftme
Tue Aug 12, 2014 5:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you tip this tour guide?
Replies: 22
Views: 2280

Re: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortga

HELOC rates have been adjusted in the low rate environment, but prime minus 0.5% is still possible. At one time, rates like prime minus 1% were available, but these are not offered anywhere anymore. Even prime or prime minus 0.5% offers often come with floors, such as prime minus 0.5% but never less...
by downshiftme
Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 2912

Re: Fresh Out of College - Advice Appreciated

During college, some financial planners came to our school for a short session. Who arranged these "financial planner" sessions through your school? Putting insurance salesman in front of soon-to-be graduates in the guise of "financial planners" is poorly thought out and probabl...
by downshiftme
Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fresh Out of College - Advice Appreciated
Replies: 12
Views: 1240

Re: Old people and financial advisors - a family tale

I' m not clear your great-uncle is having any issue, .... Well, I meant to say 'mental issues' like dementia. On the contrary, I think it's very obvious that your great-uncle is suffering from serious mental impairment. Leave aside the issues with the adviser and the completely unsuitable trading go...
by downshiftme
Mon Jul 28, 2014 4:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old people and financial advisors - a family tale
Replies: 75
Views: 5817

Re: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse

So my spouse is uber-wealthy compared to me I'm a big fan of the one pot model. But if you want to keep separate finances for some reason, then uber-wealthy should just pay 100% of the tax. It's mostly from uber-wealth anyway, and that's a small gesture of appreciation for putting up with the wealt...
by downshiftme
Thu Jul 24, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse [Tax filing apportionment]
Replies: 77
Views: 5878

Re: Purchasing Food at Work

My DW makes my lunch every day. Not much effort if you choose the right foods. Shouldn't that be: Not much effort if you choose the right DW. If you have refrigeration available, it's easy to make up a week's worth of lunches (leftovers, sandwiches, salads) and mix it up so you don't eat the same t...
by downshiftme
Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Food at Work
Replies: 41
Views: 4217

Re: A question for the Bogleladies or those who can consult

There are guys working at Victoria's Secret to help you. I think the idea is that you buy something, gift it to her, then she goes to the store to return it and gets what she wants or needs. Most states specifically outlaw merchandise returns of underwear. I would certainly not want to shop at a st...
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 15, 2014 12:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A question for the Bogleladies or those who can consult one
Replies: 70
Views: 5995

Re: Have you quit your job because of your boss?

That pension is very attractive. For only two more years, it seems like a great idea to try to qualify for it. Taking some time off for surgery, while still accruing time towards pension might be a great maneuver. Leaving and planning to come back later seems destined to fail, just too many things c...
by downshiftme
Mon Jul 14, 2014 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you quit your job because of your boss?
Replies: 66
Views: 7499

Re: Hitting "The Number" too early

Hitting the number on a big upswing in the market is not the same as picking a random point in time and seeing if you are at or above your number. I'm very cautious about making irrevocable moves, like leaving a job I would find hard to replicate, when reversion to mean is likely to propel me back b...
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hitting "The Number" too early
Replies: 49
Views: 5572

Re: do you lie about your finances to friends

I am happy to talk personal finances with friends and generally try to offer helpful advice to anyone who asks for it. I'm pretty vague about my own situation, but not untruthful. So far I am 100% ignored by everyone who asked, except my kids. It turns out even when they asked, they didn't really wa...
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you lie about your finances to friends
Replies: 103
Views: 9722

Re: Matching capital gains and big expenses

So far, I'd say I'm more the luckiest than the unluckiest. My vague guesses for how much I'd have to save to pay for education have resulted in almost exactly the right amount being available. There's no chance of any needs-based aid, so no amount of income or not will make any difference there. I d...
by downshiftme
Thu Jun 26, 2014 12:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Matching capital gains and big expenses
Replies: 4
Views: 292

Matching capital gains and big expenses

My son will be attending a private college this fall and I am expecting it will cost nearly $60,000 for each of the next four years. Leaving aside all the discussion about how much he should pay and how much I will pay, how much loans and how much financial aid may be available, let's simply assume ...
by downshiftme
Wed Jun 25, 2014 10:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Matching capital gains and big expenses
Replies: 4
Views: 292

Re: Timing with the market at the high?

If you are willing to accept the principle that the long term trend of the market is up, which is a basic core element in the reason why we invest in equities, then the market must spend an appreciable time at new highs, as it pushes higher for the long term. Not that that growth is guaranteed to be...
by downshiftme
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing with the market at the high?
Replies: 26
Views: 2717

Re: Social Security at 66 vs. 70: A Bird in the Hand?

Remember reading a recent article that said SS benefits are capped at ~$2650/mo, so need to recompute break even. This would indeed completely change the analysis. But I have never seen any reference to such a rule in any documents or articles I have ever read about Social Security. Can you provide...
by downshiftme
Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security at 66 vs. 70: A Bird in the Hand?
Replies: 54
Views: 4325

Re: I need some "hand-holding" right now...

OP panicked and pulled everything out of the market in 2008 and sat on the sidelines for years missing the recovery. OP is panicked that the US is about to experience hyper-inflation and everything will become worthless. OP is panicked that new laws about foreign accounts will lead to the collapse o...
by downshiftme
Sun May 25, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: I need some "hand-holding" right now...
Replies: 51
Views: 5694

Re: Advice on house title - unmarried couple

These people are in their 30's -- and one of them IS a lawyer. Why do you feel the need to give some advice? Have you been asked for it? If not, then this would seem to the their business and not yours, no matter how strongly you feel about it. If you have been asked for advice, then what are the co...
by downshiftme
Sun May 18, 2014 2:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on house title - unmarried couple
Replies: 30
Views: 2102

Re: Gave two weeks notice a week ago - benefits wrapup quest

What my company did, however, when it knew or believed that the employee giving notice was headed for a competitor, was walk the employee out the door and only pay that employee through that actual day worked and on which they gave "two weeks notice". While this may be technically legal i...
by downshiftme
Sun May 18, 2014 2:02 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gave two weeks notice a week ago - benefits wrapup questions
Replies: 22
Views: 3693

Re: Lawyer recommends trust

Of course he recommends a trust. Lawyers love to draft trusts. They pay a lot more than wills and there are likely ongoing trustee fees, which he or a lawyer friend of his have a reasonable chance of collecting, too. Unless he can give a good reason why you need a trust, such as a specific tax advan...
by downshiftme
Mon May 12, 2014 8:03 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lawyer recommends trust
Replies: 81
Views: 5480

Re: Are Tornado Shelters Worth the Cost?

Having previously lived in tornado country and survived a couple by seeking shelter, there's no way I would live there again without a suitable shelter, basement, or equivalent. True, the odds are in my favor and even the two times a tornado damaged homes on my block I wasn't killed and probably cou...
by downshiftme
Fri May 09, 2014 7:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Tornado Shelters Worth the Cost?
Replies: 52
Views: 3883

Re: Interesting Thought on Washington GET Program as Investm

No real analysis here, but my observations, the GET program buy rates are a significant premium over the value of the underlying tuition. You are supposed to be paying tuition now for use later, but the premium means you pay significantly more than current tuition for the promise of tuition equivale...
by downshiftme
Fri May 09, 2014 7:10 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Interesting Thought on Washington GET Program as Investment
Replies: 7
Views: 708

Re: Should wife take new job offer- pregnant? FMLA issues?

She was told by a VP that she would not be eligible for the position because they are hiring from outside (using the reason that she would be promoted over co-workers, so it would be awkward to manage her previous co-workers) This seems to kill all hope of promotion at the current company. You cann...
by downshiftme
Fri May 09, 2014 6:48 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should wife take new job offer- pregnant? FMLA issues?
Replies: 24
Views: 1382

Re: HELOC

I'm also interested in securing a HELOC and have plenty of equity to support it. My old line expired but I'm finding no one offers terms like the terms prime minus 1% that I had on the old line any more. Any idea where to shop for the best (low to zero closing cost) terms for a HELOC. Excellent cred...
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:23 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: HELOC
Replies: 11
Views: 1004

Re: Laid off today... TODO list?

dgdevil wrote:Batteries, stationery from the stationery cupboard - always useful in your next life. Stealing office supplies would not be on my todo list. As part of a group layoff, a guy in my office stole some supplies on his way out. He was caught and lost his severance. The company also changed...
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off today... TODO list?
Replies: 97
Views: 12421

Re: Social Security Statement Now Online?

I have created an online SSA account and was able to view my earnings record there in the past, but since Jan 1 of this year (2014) I have been unable to log in. I always get the message This service is not available at this time. Please try again during our regular service hours (Eastern Time): I ...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 24, 2014 7:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security Statement Now Online?
Replies: 32
Views: 3567

Re: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]

From what I've seen and read about Non-Compete Agreements is that they are generally very difficult to enforce and really only work if the employee was quite high up the corporate ladder. I've heard of them being thrown out for being too geographically broad and/or too lengthy (time-wise). Unless a...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete [Employer NDA and Non-Compete agreements]
Replies: 35
Views: 1763

Re: Tipping for take out

No, tipping for take out is not customary. If the place is primarily a sit down restaurant and they are doing me a favor by providing take-out, then I will tip generously. But if they are primarily take-out, or do a substantial take out business, then tipping seems inappropriate. I tip the wait staf...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tipping for take out
Replies: 57
Views: 5438

Re: Any indoor seed starters?

Around here, that is how they have been catching pot growers, the police get notified of a spike in electricty use. Then the police go out with a thermal camera and see if there is a hot spot in the house due to grow lights. That has been enough for the police to get a warrant. I have off and on st...
by downshiftme
Fri Feb 28, 2014 3:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any indoor seed starters?
Replies: 30
Views: 1737

Re: Where to buy polo shirts?

JC Penney has nice polo shirts, but the price goes up and down so you might want to watch for sales. Lands End makes very nice shirts, but they are rarely available at any discount. Likewise LL Bean. There are online providers such as blankshirts.com which provide basic polo style shirts from severa...
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy polo shirts?
Replies: 63
Views: 10879

Re: Social Security Statement Now Online?

Sorry for reviving an old thread, but it seemed most applicable. I have created an online SSA account and was able to view my earnings record there in the past, but since Jan 1 of this year (2014) I have been unable to log in. I always get the message This service is not available at this time. Plea...
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security Statement Now Online?
Replies: 32
Views: 3567

Re: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle

I strongly prefer a simple model with only limited options, such as safety items or a roof rack because I want to haul stuff up there. It was impossible to find a car on a lot with the combination I wanted. They were all either base stripped zero options, or packages with a bunch of expensive (but u...
by downshiftme
Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying a 'loaded' vs stripped down vehicle
Replies: 52
Views: 4120

Re: BOA credit card breach

Yes, I am also shifting to the idea of multiple cards for multiple purposes. One card just for monthly auto charges. One card for brick and mortar shopping. One card for internet purchases. I used to do everything with a single card, and it was a lot of work to reset everything after a breach. Now a...
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: BOA credit card breach
Replies: 29
Views: 2836

Re: The growing case against ETFs ARTICLE

while there is growing consensus that ETFs are the better vehicle, there’s growing evidence that the people using them may not be so skilled behind the wheel.


It's not an article against ETFs. It's an article against misusing them.
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:44 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The growing case against ETFs ARTICLE
Replies: 36
Views: 4399

Re: Voluntary Separation Package Advice

This looks like a generous package, you have the finances to take it and do whatever you want, and you will escape a potentially toxic workplace. Unless there is some complication like you would be eligible for a pension or lifetime healthcare if you stick around another year, this seems like the ti...
by downshiftme
Tue Feb 18, 2014 10:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Voluntary Separation Package Advice
Replies: 47
Views: 3498

Re: How much to get your taxes done?

TaxAct or TurboTax, usually free or under $15 depending on sales and promotions each year. I did spend $400 one year on a CPA for a move between states, 2 state income taxes, rental house in old state until I could sell it, complicated employer reimbursement for move and living expenses, first year ...
by downshiftme
Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much to get your taxes done?
Replies: 31
Views: 3104

Re: Doing a new job at work at not getting paid for it

Take the job! Whatever you are currently doing is not all that well paid for a computer engineering job. This new job sounds like a step up in responsibility and will look good on your resume. Give them some time to come up with the raise and group transfer they promised. Do a great job in your new ...
by downshiftme
Mon Feb 03, 2014 2:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Doing a new job at work at not getting paid for it
Replies: 27
Views: 2145

Re: Do Bogleheads see this market dip as a buying point?

Sometime between now and April 15, I need to push some IRA money into accounts. I may or may not hit the dip, but it seems as good a reason as any to do it now that I know my tax situation for the year.
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Do Bogleheads see this market dip as a buying point?
Replies: 127
Views: 13894

Re: SS numbers and identity theft

Interesting. I do the same thing except I have the first numbers blacked out so that only the last four numbers are shown. I was told that the first few digits are codes for which office issued the particular number. The SSA provides some details of how the number is composed at: http://www.ssa.gov...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:16 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: SS numbers and identity theft
Replies: 39
Views: 3090

Re: when you reach"your number"

I didn't answer the poll, because I have several numbers. Ultimately, I plan to retire when my youngest child is safely graduated from college. I was given the gift of a debt-free college education and I intend to give that to my children as well. So that gives me a date to plan retirement around. O...
by downshiftme
Sat Jan 25, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: when you reach"your number"
Replies: 84
Views: 9135

Re: What to do if denied boarding due to the airlines' fault

The call center agent informed us that it was not our mistake that this reservation got cancelled. After some long conversations with the customer care agent, we were offered an to be placed on an alternate route. However, because the total trip time exceeded 36 hours, we requested that we be place...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 16, 2014 4:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do if denied boarding due to the airlines' fault?
Replies: 23
Views: 2176

Re: Leaving an employer on bad terms? Deal breaker for new h

I have almost always left my employer under bad terms. Every time. In most cases, if it weren't for some toxic boss problem or unscrupulous behavior by the company involved, I would still be employed there. I end up with plenty of glowing excellent references from many of the people I worked with an...
by downshiftme
Tue Jan 14, 2014 1:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Leaving an employer on bad terms? Deal breaker for new hire?
Replies: 32
Views: 2585

Re: Understanding hospital bill/insurance

EVERY bill should have the charged amount, and a negotiated adjustment. The resulting number is the amount that provider charges for patients with your insurance. You are responsible for 100% of that, up until the deductible is reached. After that you are responsible for your agreed percentage (in t...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 13, 2014 7:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding hospital bill/insurance
Replies: 8
Views: 547

Re: Life Insurance: A waste of money?

If you need the insurance, for example you have dependents you want to provide for in case you die, then term insurance provides that at the best possible cost. My impression is that whole life and all it's variants are some insurance, plus a contract with an insurance company to invest some money o...
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 08, 2014 7:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Whole / Permanent] Life Insurance: A waste of money?
Replies: 16
Views: 827

Re: Looking for Actual Experiences with Umbrella Insurance

Yes, I carry earthquake insurance. When I had a loss in an earthquake, there was plenty of FEMA money and the insurance didn't pay anything. But I'm glad I had it, as neighbors suffered much more extensive damage and had my house been as damaged as theirs, insurance would have been a huge relief. I ...
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Looking for Actual Experiences with Umbrella Insurance
Replies: 79
Views: 7115
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