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Fidelity offer to match IRA contributions

Fidelity is reportedly offering to match IRA contributions for the next three years, up to 10%, for investors who transfer an IRA to them during the promotion. While I can find lots of news stories about the offer, I haven't been able to find any Fidelity official communication or web page that desc...
by downshiftme
Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Fidelity offer to match IRA contributions
Replies: 4
Views: 976

Re: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?

I had some similar problems with a similar system in another state. In a case where the responder readers went offline, everyone passing through was photo captured and sent a bill, including the photo reading surcharge, despite the fact that I had a valid and functioning responder. They had zero int...
by downshiftme
Fri Feb 27, 2015 6:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Erroneous NY Ezpass violation - Any tips?
Replies: 20
Views: 1903

Re: Suggest an infrared temperture gun

Got a no name Chinese one from Amazon for about $25. It was completely worthless and neither accurate nor repeatable. I assume you need sufficient quality components to get an accurate and reliable measurement.
by downshiftme
Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Suggest an infrared temperture gun
Replies: 14
Views: 932

Re: Pick-Pockets

First time, on the Paris Metro. Two men, timing their robbery to the opening and closing of the subway doors. On my last trip to Paris I was repeatedly warned about the Metro, and they were right. Once, I was hit by a guy doing something like the quote above, then out the closing door before anyone...
by downshiftme
Mon Feb 23, 2015 5:51 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Pick-Pockets
Replies: 63
Views: 5093

Re: Are banks required to deposit third party endorsed check

I have rarely had to deposit a third party check with an endorsement "Pay to the order of Downshiftme signed by the original payee" but have never had a problem when doing so. How much history do you have with your bank? I'd suggest either asking a branch manager to intervene or just do an...
by downshiftme
Fri Feb 20, 2015 4:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Are banks required to deposit third party endorsed checks?
Replies: 52
Views: 2618

Re: "Don't Be Dogmatic About Retirement-Portfolio Withdrawal

Even with no change in tax rates, you may experience a change in your personal tax rate. Moving from paid employment to retirement may have several years before RMD kicks in, which could be prime time to tap Trad IRA or do Roth conversions while tapping taxable accounts in order to prevent much high...
by downshiftme
Fri Feb 20, 2015 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Don't Be Dogmatic About Retirement-Portfolio Withdrawals."
Replies: 10
Views: 1424

Re: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL

Sad part is she actually purchased the car after telling us she's "just looking". Very hard to face my MIL now, to me this was a selfish act. As far as doing what is necessary, my problem now is MIL says she will have no relations with my wife if we report her. And people wonder where MIL...
by downshiftme
Thu Feb 19, 2015 3:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Time to stop driving for 85 yo MIL
Replies: 89
Views: 5751

Re: New career as Financial Planner late in Life?

As a profession, it might be hard to get a large enough book of business to be worthwhile if you are recommending low fee index funds and Boglehead philosophy. But if you are doing it as an early retirement project to promote the concepts and don't actually need the income, it could make an interest...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 29, 2015 4:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New career as Financial Planner late in Life?
Replies: 29
Views: 2819

Re: Do Bogleheads' Children Qualify For Need Based College A

One child was given a substantial merit award, but only to attend a school he didn't want to go to. Ended up paying full list price (plus out of state supplement in one case) for each child. Most all the awards are needs based and with good salary and good savings we didn't qualify for any of it. Li...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 26, 2015 5:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do Bogleheads' Children Qualify For Need Based College Aid?
Replies: 35
Views: 3204

Re: How much food to you really keep?

I grew up learning to cook in a large family, and still tend to shop that way. When I had teenagers at home, they would easily take care of any excess. Not that it's just me, it can take a long time to work my way through a typical stockpile. I'd be willing to join your challenge of eating through a...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 15, 2015 2:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How much food to you really keep?
Replies: 57
Views: 4238

Re: Dentist Bill from 2011

I would always pay my bills for services provided to me. But in this case I would have several questions before paying. If the interest and late changes are primarily due to the dentist failing to bill in a timely manner, I would expect those to be removed. If there was supposed to be dental insuran...
by downshiftme
Wed Dec 24, 2014 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dentist Bill from 2011
Replies: 62
Views: 3850

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: 64
Views: 4828

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: 758

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: 17932

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: 1972

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: 1592

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: 2436

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: 1457

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: 4437

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: 1957

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: 2956

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: 5814

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: 15210

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: 5814

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: 17031

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: 61
Views: 8839

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: 1597

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: 5850

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: 1597

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: 1597

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: 17031

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: 5850

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: 16278

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: 5458

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: 15209

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: 1355

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: 3263

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: 1341

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: 5135

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: 842

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: 3273

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: 5446

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: 2178

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: 3018

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: 959

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: 377

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: 2219

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: 1461

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: 2391

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: 2970
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