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Re: Helping out family members

In my family experience, there are a lot of ways this can go badly, even if it works. In another family I know of a few loans between sibings that were repaid slowly, and a lot of resentment on both sides came from that. Both the lender and the borrower came to resent the other. In another case, the...
by downshiftme
Thu Dec 18, 2014 1:13 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping out family members
Replies: 60
Views: 3663

Re: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.

One year of earnings which is exactly at the earnings limit, is worth the same (in terms of your benefits) regardless of when it was earned. That's my understanding anyway, but I'm hardly an expert. This is mostly true, with some minor exceptions. Levels for years before 1982 were set by law and no...
by downshiftme
Mon Dec 15, 2014 9:47 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security maximum earnings limit question.
Replies: 11
Views: 718

Re: Seattle Local Chapter? The answer is "Yes"

I'd be interested to know when a Seattle meeting might happen. Is meetup an appropriate way to arrange one?
by downshiftme
Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:20 am
 
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: Seattle Local Chapter? The answer is "Yes"
Replies: 60
Views: 17473

Re: do people still steal portable GPSs from cars?

I had an old GPS worth nor more than the $30 that I paid for it (used) that was stolen from my car. In another incident, they stole a handful of change that I keep for feeding parking meters. It doesn't have to be valuable to attract thieves.
by downshiftme
Sun Dec 14, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: do people still steal portable GPSs from cars?
Replies: 13
Views: 1899

Re: What would you change about your retirement plan at work

Our plan is through a well known insurance company, so our ER are very high. Most over 1%. There are also separate account fees which are levied quarterly. This is an improvement over the previous plan, where the ER were all between 2% and 3%. I like that we are a Safe Harbor plan, so no problems wi...
by downshiftme
Fri Dec 12, 2014 7:03 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: What would you change about your retirement plan at work?
Replies: 23
Views: 1424

Re: Stolen computer

In fact, some of my most sensitive info I have is in Google Drive.


Change your Google password - NOW - as quickly as possible. Changing all your online passwords seems like a prudent precaution if you have concerns the thief could attempt to access any of your accounts or online services.
by downshiftme
Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Stolen computer
Replies: 29
Views: 2345

Re: help! suspicious call asking about my SS application

As a general rule, do NOT respond ever to anyone who calls you requesting banking, financial or personal identity information. If you think they are legitimate, get an extension number or id number for THEM, and call back to a KNOWN phone number that you lookup yourself. Never assume a number they g...
by downshiftme
Fri Dec 12, 2014 1:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: help! suspicious call asking about my SS application
Replies: 12
Views: 1421

Re: If you don't need the Soc Sec, when to start taking it?

Actuarialy, it is supposed to not matter that much. But the important consideration not mentioned is that the situation is NOT symmetric. For the payer, it doesn't matter if you take SS early or late, on average they will pay out the same amount. For the payee (especially if single and not leaving ...
by downshiftme
Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: If you don't need the Soc Sec, when to start taking it?
Replies: 39
Views: 4239

Re: Toddlers first flight

A supply of familiar snacks and favorite toys can keep them occupied for a long time. Also, a few new toys they haven't seen before can be very useful to have in reserve in case things don't seem to be going well. Don't overestimate toddler attention spans. You will need to be focused and engaged wi...
by downshiftme
Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Toddlers first flight
Replies: 30
Views: 1830

Re: Helping Wife After I'm Gone

My plan has always been to simplify the portfolio down to an easy 3 or 4 funds with very simple rebalancing, or if that seems too much go for an all in one fund solution. Make it so simple an adviser is NOT needed, and avoid the problem of being upsold into higher price funds and annuities. For taxe...
by downshiftme
Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping Wife After I'm Gone
Replies: 14
Views: 2701

Re: Have you ever been let go?

Multiple sources of income is good insurance against losing one of the sources. But this can be hard to do as a traditional employee in tech firms. Most of my jobs have expected considerable overtime and in many cases, the fact that I was working other angles on problems, outside my day job respons...
by downshiftme
Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever been let go?
Replies: 74
Views: 5451

Re: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it en

randomguy wrote:Sure but doesn't this demonstrate why companies don't want to hire old workers? I would think that is obvious. There is a measurable increase in cost but hard to quantify increase in capabilities. Engineers are traditionally very difficult for management to value properly since much...
by downshiftme
Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long did your IT career last? At what age did it end?
Replies: 156
Views: 14571

Re: Have you ever been let go?

In high tech, layoffs and involuntarily finding myself out of work seemed to be part of the industry norms. For about the first ten years of my career I saw many layoffs, sometimes more than one each year, but was never selected to be laid off myself. Then I found a new job and quit my old one just ...
by downshiftme
Tue Dec 09, 2014 9:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you ever been let go?
Replies: 74
Views: 5451

Re: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?

I would not feel safe walking around with $5000 on my wrist. I would rather not be a target. When I am asked on the street if I know the time, I am glad I am NOT pulling out a Rolex and marking myself as a target. Let the other folks look like millionaires. I'm much happier looking like an average ...
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 24, 2014 6:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?
Replies: 167
Views: 13301

Re: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?

You are bringing up a good point. If the seats were needed for pilots, who had to fly out from Hawaii immediately upon arrival of the OP's flight, the pilots' rest and comfort were needed for the safety of their flight, which is always a priority I don't think the pilots can count time spent flying...
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 24, 2014 4:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Bumped out of first class at boarding - compensation?
Replies: 52
Views: 6318

Re: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL

That sounds like those golden handcuffs are indeed working as the company intended. Meanwhile, I just saw this story about a company that actually deposited an annual bonus in employees accounts, then later changed their mind and tied it to a future corporate event and tried to claw back the already...
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL
Replies: 13
Views: 1542

Re: How should wife counter salary offer within current co.?

@downshiftme, your post is nice and says to lower expectations (at least I interpret it that way). But it does not say do not negotiate nor does it say do not ask for higher compensation. I'm sorry but I do not know how to give such advice without understanding a lot more of the particulars, and po...
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should wife counter salary offer within current co.?
Replies: 60
Views: 5584

Re: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL

If he takes that advice literally, he could never resign Well, certainly there is always next year's bonus or some other intervening date that would roll on forever. I only meant to wait until after the confirmation that I had indeed received - actually got - the last significant bonus I wanted to ...
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 22, 2014 10:35 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL
Replies: 13
Views: 1542

Re: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL

I am not a lawyer and if I was I wouldn't give you advice unless you were actually my client. Whenever I have left an employer, I have always given notice AFTER the last relevant date for any bonus compensation due me. For example, for an annual performance bonus I wait until not just the end of the...
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: A friend asked about about resignation timing, but IANAL
Replies: 13
Views: 1542

Re: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?

Much more economical would be a fauxlex: http://www.madebystore.co.uk/store_faux_wat.html
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 23 year old... Can I afford a Rolex?
Replies: 167
Views: 13301

Re: How should wife counter salary offer within current co.?

Everyone has different individual experience and everyone believes that their own personal experience is some form of absolute truth. It is afterall an accurate reflection of what they personally have experienced. Promotions to management positions may or may not come with 10% or higher compensation...
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 22, 2014 9:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How should wife counter salary offer within current co.?
Replies: 60
Views: 5584

Re: how to make money like a billionaire

Tony Robbins is making the rounds to sell a new book. How billionaires seek to preserve their wealth (and even that ISN'T with lots of CDs) has nothing to do with how you should seek to accumulate personal wealth for yourself.
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:19 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: how to make money like a billionaire
Replies: 116
Views: 11396

Re: Trapped deciding between 2 Jobs: Can I renege on my offe

Can you clarify the nature of the three year contract. Does that mean that they will pay you three years of salary if they decide to dump you, or just that you are a contract employee and so they offer no benefits. In my field, some executives get contracts that include severance so you can know tha...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:49 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trapped deciding between 2 Jobs: Can I renege on my offer?
Replies: 36
Views: 3812

Re: How To Invest Your Emergency Fund?

I keep about 1 month in checking with the rest invested in taxable according to my AA (80/20) which is about 4-5 years of expenses. This is by far my favorite plan. Years ago when I had less savings than I do now, I also subscribed to the idea that Emergency Fund needs to be liquid in a savings acc...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How To Invest Your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 97
Views: 14176

Re: Work 401k

That's a terrible line up of expensive funds. In a similar situation, what I did was pick the least worst fund with the lowest costs. In your case that looks like MFRHX Research R3, which is a large company actively managed fund. Just dump 100% into that. Then balance the rest of your portfolio (Int...
by downshiftme
Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Work 401k
Replies: 11
Views: 1189

Re: Ouch! IRS penalty for underpayment, Any ideas?

Good for you being able to call the IRS and resolve this to your satisfaction, but surely your CPA should be the most happy. You PAID for services and advice that was incorrect, they offered to compensate only half instead of the customary 100% of penalty due to professional errors, then the penalty...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ouch! IRS penalty for underpayment, Any ideas?
Replies: 24
Views: 3175

Re: HELP WITH MY FATHER-IN-LAWS ASSETS

Beware. There are peculiar rules for how IRAs must be titled on inheritance to avoid triggering RMD. Many financial advisers do not know the rules and sometimes suggest changing names on accounts in ways that have tax consequences. You will need to do some research to get this correct.
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help with my Father-In-Law's Assets
Replies: 11
Views: 1331

Re: Messy baby restaurant etiquette

We did like to take babies and toddlers out to eat with the family. If the children were too young (too messy) to be trusted with restaurant food, then we carried foods we knew they liked that were less messy. A small child can send cheerios and cut up apple bits all over the place, but it's a lot l...
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:31 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Messy baby restaurant etiquette
Replies: 75
Views: 4752

Re: More Math Fun................

It's a precedence of operation question and it's ambiguous because some systems put the first division ahead of the first multiplication (because division and multiplication are equal precedence and the division is first on the line) and some put the quantity times a parenthesized sub-expression hig...
by downshiftme
Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: More Math Fun................
Replies: 16
Views: 838

Re: A Little Common Core Math problem

I've seen a lot of Common Core materials that I don't think are very good, but this problem seems well thought out and appropriate for fourth graders who have no algebra. There are many ways to solve this, but conceptually fourth graders could be expected to reason: If the dog is 8 times the weight ...
by downshiftme
Thu Oct 30, 2014 6:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Little Common Core Math problem
Replies: 97
Views: 2895

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 1:10 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Sale of house-closing tomorrow, buyer is backing out
Replies: 60
Views: 5395

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 4:27 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Had a bad experience with Amica
Replies: 25
Views: 2122

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 3:00 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "How Retirement Fees Cost You"
Replies: 28
Views: 2943

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 8:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Take slightly better job if you had to wait 1 year for 401k?
Replies: 19
Views: 933

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 12:11 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: MetLife Guarantee Advantage Universal Life Policy
Replies: 5
Views: 364

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 6:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Are these [401k] options terrible?
Replies: 28
Views: 2190

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 6:18 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advice for my mother (Widowed @ 62)
Replies: 13
Views: 1444

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 4:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you tip this tour guide?
Replies: 22
Views: 2364

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 11:41 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: With Rates Likes These, Why Would Anyone Go for a Mortgage?
Replies: 12
Views: 2938

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 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fresh Out of College - Advice Appreciated
Replies: 12
Views: 1261

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 3:15 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Old people and financial advisors - a family tale
Replies: 75
Views: 5949

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 6:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Rich Spouse, Poor Spouse [Tax filing apportionment]
Replies: 77
Views: 6070

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 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Purchasing Food at Work
Replies: 41
Views: 4290

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 11:46 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A question for the Bogleladies or those who can consult one
Replies: 70
Views: 6110

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 5:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Have you quit your job because of your boss?
Replies: 66
Views: 7754

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 8:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Hitting "The Number" too early
Replies: 49
Views: 5606

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 8:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: do you lie about your finances to friends
Replies: 103
Views: 10065

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
Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Matching capital gains and big expenses
Replies: 4
Views: 296

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 9:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Matching capital gains and big expenses
Replies: 4
Views: 296

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 3:35 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Timing with the market at the high?
Replies: 26
Views: 2726
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