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Re: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?

As a contact lens wearer, I strongly recommend having spare glasses available. These are only for backup, so getting very inexpensive ones from Zenni Optical made sense for me. I don't like to carry them around, so I park a pair in my car, in my office, at home, in my carry on bag, and I know if any...
by downshiftme
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Just got contact lenses. Should I buy backup glasses?
Replies: 22
Views: 980

Re: What Guaranteed Return Would You Require to Move All Ass

There is no rate at which I would put all of my eggs in a single basket. You could promise the moon guaranteed (as ponzi scheme operators and con men often do) and I would not invest all my assets in your single investment. If this is a theoretical question, at what hypothetical guaranteed nominal r...
by downshiftme
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:38 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: What Guaranteed Return Would You Require to Move All Assets
Replies: 54
Views: 3120

Re: John Bogle's Don't Peek Challenge

I wasn't really suggesting they don't peek for 30 years (the extreme version suggested by Jack), but I think you will be fine if you do the modified version and don't peek for one to three years. I strongly disagree. If there is some problem with your account, you will NOT be fine if you fail to di...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle's Don't Peek Challenge
Replies: 137
Views: 11609

Re: Mom is 59.5, in a terrible 403b. can she rollover?

Even if the current plan does not allow in-service rollover to another provider, such as Vanguard, are there any other investment options in the 403b that would be better than the terrible annuity she currently holds?
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:27 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Mom is 59.5, in a terrible 403b. can she rollover?
Replies: 24
Views: 2114

Re: My job says I can't work for anyone else...

Not a physician, but I have had several employers with similar restrictions on outside employment without permission. For professional employees, the theory is that your salary covers your work, including intellectual work, not just your specific hours on the job premises. Sometimes there are even i...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 17, 2015 3:40 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: My job says I can't work for anyone else...
Replies: 61
Views: 6041

Re: Wells Fargo Customer Service

I have had all kinds of customer service problems with Wells Fargo, usually because of something that they did, not something that I did. However patient management of the customer service process and insistent escalations has always provided a satisfactory answer. Eventually. If all else fails, mee...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wells Fargo Customer Service
Replies: 8
Views: 726

Re: Porter Stansberry advising going to 100% cash - Help!

The scare mongering and predictions for a 50% drop in 2014 didn't pan out. Obviously. They are now back with a new round of similarly dire predictions for 70% drop by Oct 11, 2015 (strangely specific). Apparently fear sells, and the fact that they simply change the prediction to six months in the fu...
by downshiftme
Thu Apr 16, 2015 6:43 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Porter Stansberry advising going to 100% cash - Help!
Replies: 56
Views: 7336

Re: Cash out pre-IPO for 5%?

It doesn't seem like there is that much downside risk for me other than the fee as I would get cash up front, they claim it would be treated as a standard disposition subject to long term capital gains, and then I'd pay them money (presumably by selling to cover) when an IPO happens. But what happe...
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 11, 2015 12:10 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Cash out pre-IPO for 5%?
Replies: 8
Views: 1156

Re: Getting married-do I really need a will?

I am also in a state that intestate rules only send a proportion of assets to my spouse. Remainder would go to my parents and siblings, which makes no sense. Besides, I don't want to be dependent on the default action of state law when it is so easy to simply specify what I want.
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 10, 2015 5:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Getting married-do I really need a will?
Replies: 26
Views: 2025

Re: Great ESPP not for "ME"?

If you are somehow in a situation with no outside savings to cushion the cash flow to take advantage of this great plan, then you should focus on getting yourself some adequate emergency fund and savings. Otherwise, I fail to see the problem that getting a windfall of additional income you get from ...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Great ESPP not for "ME"?
Replies: 20
Views: 1800

Re: 401k divorce, remarriage and Erisa Law

There may be some state laws that could help you. When I was divorced, I was told that in my state that beneficiary designations to the ex-spouse were invalidated by the divorce (effectively meaning there was no beneficiary designated for that account), but that it was prudent to send in new benefic...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 03, 2015 3:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k divorce, remarriage and Erisa Law
Replies: 13
Views: 2005

Re: Letter from Lawyer to enter my property to construct roa

You should be happy that they didn't just show up on your land with a bulldozer and graders. This confuses me. Just because a landlocked property has an easement to access that property through someone else's parcel, doesn't mean they can cause whatever damages they want in doing so, nor that they ...
by downshiftme
Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:34 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from Lawyer to enter my property to construct road
Replies: 39
Views: 6302

Re: Is this a bad 401K?

Your match may not be guaranteed, but neither are positive equity returns. Unless the fees (ER) are very high and you will be here a very long time, the 401k is almost always still a good deal. If nothing else, it is a holding device for tax advantaged funds that have an annual limit. You can park t...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 31, 2015 5:26 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this a bad 401K?
Replies: 23
Views: 1680

Re: The final word on portfolio spending rate in retirement

If this is what you really want to accomplish, it seems like it would be a lot easier and safer to just actually buy the annuities from a bunch of different companies (protecting against any one going out of business) and be done with it. Of course, that assumes you want to spend it all and be sure ...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "The Final Say on Spending Rules" - L. Siegel
Replies: 17
Views: 2606

Re: Apply For HELOC as Emergency Funds???

Having a no fee, good rate, HELOC is a very useful tool. As an actual Emergency Fund, it's use may be limited because HELOCs can be frozen, but if you already have sufficient Emergency Fund, then a HELOC can add useful options when you need to use a bunch of cash and don't want to hassle with financ...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 30, 2015 1:30 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Apply For HELOC as Emergency Funds???
Replies: 23
Views: 1901

Re: Sued and won for drycleaner losing suit, suit now found.

Two weeks ago I successfully won a judgment against a dry cleaner who lost my wife's suit. The judgment requires she pay my cost for the suit, which fortunately I had receipts for since it was practically new, plus legal fees and interest. Yesterday, one day before her appeal deadline expires, the ...
by downshiftme
Fri Mar 27, 2015 4:33 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sued and won for drycleaner losing suit, suit now found.
Replies: 86
Views: 7951

Re: Employer matching to 401K

Yes, that's basically it, except many employers only do the matching paycheck by paycheck. So that means to get the whole match you need to contribute every paycheck of the year. A few companies will true up at the end of the year, but it is not a common feature. If you are contemplating contributin...
by downshiftme
Fri Mar 27, 2015 1:04 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employer matching to 401K
Replies: 8
Views: 446

Re: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount

That's not what I inferred at all. I suggested he give him a discount since the doctor had the opportunity to re-insert a tube that came out after a week and chose to "wait and see". And what would have happened if the doctor aggressively suggested another surgery to replace the tube and ...
by downshiftme
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:28 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Failed Surgery - Doctor not volunteering discount
Replies: 32
Views: 2469

Re: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?

Is this a new article by this author, perhaps a product of original research that this particular time is an especially good time to make such a tactical reallocation to cash. Or is this a rehash of a similar article the author wrote six months ago, and also a year ago, and also 18 months ago. How d...
by downshiftme
Thu Mar 26, 2015 12:16 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wise move to move some $ to cash before bear market?
Replies: 116
Views: 11841

Re: Should I invest my emergency fund?

Now I'm a big fan of the tiered approach to Emergency Funds, and once I have sufficient financial assets, think there is less need to keep a large chunk in immediately available cash. My question to you is: how much of expenses will you have in case of a 90% decline in equities? I can see the respon...
by downshiftme
Wed Mar 25, 2015 6:09 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Should I invest my emergency fund?
Replies: 71
Views: 6319

Re: Admiral Shares vs Diversity? Beginner Question

I went through a similar process when I was trying to build a diversified portfolio of index funds. My choice was to build each position to the point that it qualified for Admiral shares before I worried about the exact percentages needed to implement my preferred asset allocation. While that meant ...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:31 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Admiral Shares vs Diversity? Beginner Question
Replies: 14
Views: 1311

Re: Nonretirement investments...

If you know that you will need to money at a specific date in the future, then you should avoid volatile investments like stock, which might be down significantly at the exact time you need to cash out. On the other hand, if you can be flexible about dates, I strongly prefer to invest my taxable mon...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 23, 2015 10:07 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Nonretirement investments...
Replies: 15
Views: 2552

Re: Math majors needed in here for loan interest rates thoug

You ask for a math solution, but you do not allow for all the variability of the situation. If you are going to specify that investments earn 9% and interest on the loan is less than that, then the mathematically optimum solution is to take as much loan as you can for a long as you can. The suggesti...
by downshiftme
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Math majors needed in here for loan interest rates thoughts
Replies: 36
Views: 2218

Re: Definition of financial independence?

I'm not happy with that definition of financially independent using quarterly dividends at all. It isn't required that the assets in a portfolio throw off enough income every quarter to spend. It's required that taking the expenses from a portfolio would enable that portfolio to continue to exist fo...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 16, 2015 6:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Definition of financial independence?
Replies: 52
Views: 4978

Re: Should tilters recommend tilting to beginners?

I tilt. I never recommend it to beginners. I only recommend a two fund portfolio or a target date fund. I use the two fund idea only if they seem ready to understand asset allocation and the idea of an equity/fixed split. Even so, for beginners, putting all the equity into one fund and all the fixed...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:21 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should tilters recommend tilting to beginners?
Replies: 49
Views: 2904

Re: Laptop Purchase at Costco?

Looking for a mid-range laptop for a college freshman, Costco had the best machines at attractive prices. We are happy with the choice and the laptop has served the student well.
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Laptop Purchase at Costco?
Replies: 13
Views: 1783

Re: John Bogle's Don't Peek Challenge

Absolutely no way. This is a terrible idea. I've gotten pretty good at being able to peek and not take action whether the totals are up or down. As a victim of attempted account takeover at a bank, there is no way I would ever allow an account of mine to go unexamined for years or decades. Being abl...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 16, 2015 12:08 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: John Bogle's Don't Peek Challenge
Replies: 137
Views: 11609

Re: when did/would you terminate disability insurance?

There is no specific age at which I would terminate disability insurance. Being close to retirement age isn't the trigger I would use to decide to carry or terminate disability insurance. I did terminate disability insurance when my investments were sufficient to allow me to live on (albeit at a sli...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 16, 2015 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: when did/would you terminate disability insurance?
Replies: 35
Views: 2758

Re: Any other investors with 70/30 portfolio?

Not quite 60 years old, I took the Vanguard risk questionnaire (current topic in another thread: https://www.bogleheads.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=160855&newpost=2417318 ) and it recommended 70/30 when I opened my Vanguard accounts. I was inspired by the other thread to repeat the questio...
by downshiftme
Sat Mar 14, 2015 12:08 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Any other investors with 70/30 portfolio?
Replies: 71
Views: 8131

Re: Corporate America: Procedure/Process to get Fired

Without more information about your specific situation, it's difficult to speculate what your company might do. There is no standard. Every company can do it differently and unless there are specific work rules, such as a union agreement, the same company can do it differently for each employee. Oft...
by downshiftme
Fri Mar 13, 2015 3:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Corporate America: Procedure/Process to get Fired
Replies: 9
Views: 975

Re: non-compete question

Lesson here is don't sign a ridiculous non-compete. I have usually found this advice to be impractical. Companies who present a non-compete agreement to be signed are NOT offering a choice. You either sign or you are out. Even if it's not explicitly stated that way, it's always been clear that anyo...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 10, 2015 10:39 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: non-compete question
Replies: 23
Views: 2136

Re: Paris France help/suggestions for women

Worst places for pickpockets in my experience were on Paris Metro, both in the stations and on the trains. Pickpockets took advantage of the press of bodies and the timing of doors to make snatch and grab attempts. Both back pockets and anything carried (backpack, purse, etc) were significant target...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 02, 2015 7:21 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris France help/suggestions for women
Replies: 22
Views: 1665

Re: Landlord requested addendum to lease

I'm impressed at the sheer nerve of the landlords to even propose such a thing. From your point of view, it's hard to imagine what possible benefit there could be to you to assume a maintenance responsibility that should belong to the landlords. Will you receive a significant reduction in rent? Sign...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 02, 2015 4:29 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Landlord requested addendum to lease
Replies: 24
Views: 2181

Re: Father in law possible elder scam victim?

Maybe it is time to consider having someone else manage his finances without him being able to write his own checks. If these checks were written because the handymen were in the house doing actual work, you may have some leverage to insure payback with whatever state agency licenses their kind of ...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Father in law possible elder scam victim?
Replies: 30
Views: 1825

Re: Paris France help/suggestions for women

As a visitor, my daughter had good success with a pouch on a string that she hung over her neck and under her sweater. I've seen these called passport holders, or commonly used in industrial settings as badge holders (although visible, not hidden, for use displaying a badge.) Later when she stayed f...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 02, 2015 1:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Paris France help/suggestions for women
Replies: 22
Views: 1665

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: 12
Views: 2264

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: 2224

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: 21
Views: 1758

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: 5429

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: 2997

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: 1481

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: 6189

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: 2862

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: 3251

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: 4348

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: 3903

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: 4949

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: 779

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: 18021

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: 1991
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