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Re: Totally Stressed. Husband lost job.

This is not financial advice, but psychological advice. My father lost his job when I was about 7 years old. I remember my mother having a huge psychological breakdown and the stress of that period of time has been a prominent memory for me. I think in some ways, it has influenced me to be risk-avoi...
by zebrafish
Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:08 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Totally Stressed. Husband lost job.
Replies: 28
Views: 6359

Re: Consider freezing your credit

In my state, it costs $10 to freeze with each agency. I believe it is $10 to unfreeze or temporarily unfreeze. It is relatively easy to do by phone or online. When you freeze credit, each agency issues you a PIN that you must keep in a safe place. This PIN is needed to unfreeze or temporarily unfree...
by zebrafish
Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:50 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consider freezing your credit
Replies: 45
Views: 4664

Consider freezing your credit

Let my story be a warning to others... I received a free credit monitoring for one credit agency as a "gift" after a megacompany leaked my personal information in a data breach several years back. On Tuesday morning, I received an email stating that my credit report had changed. Turns out,...
by zebrafish
Thu Nov 13, 2014 12:23 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Consider freezing your credit
Replies: 45
Views: 4664

Re: Offered Promotion, but longer commute

I spent 3 1/2 years commuting 75 minutes each way to work before I landed a transfer where my commute was cut to 10-25 minutes.

When you have a family, the extra/wasted time spent in the car just eats at your soul. I think it also takes a toll on your health in terms of stress and fatigue.
by zebrafish
Wed Sep 03, 2014 11:15 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Offered Promotion, but longer commute
Replies: 37
Views: 3126

Re: College Counselors

This is kind of unusual for me. When I was in high school and looking to apply for college, I did all of the grunt work and research myself. I spoke to no counselors and just read 1-2 magazines. I wrote the college entrance essays all by myself with no one checking them and I ended up in a decent U...
by zebrafish
Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:54 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: College Counselors
Replies: 44
Views: 2699

Re: Help with Salary Negotiation (Bay Area)

Now, the un-fun part comes up, when he asks me to propose the initial salary. The rule of thumb is that whomever mentions an initial salary loses. If it's the employee, it sets a ceiling; if it's the employer, it sets a floor. If he asks you what you're looking for, simply state, "More than I'...
by zebrafish
Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help with Salary Negotiation (Bay Area)
Replies: 13
Views: 1379

Re: Would you tip this tour guide?

I think it is always good to tip if the person made a good faith effort to do their best. However, I would make a point of posting negative reviews (or honest reviews of this negative situation) on TripAdvisor and other sites. When I travel, I put a lot of faith into customer reviews. You will help ...
by zebrafish
Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:41 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you tip this tour guide?
Replies: 22
Views: 2365

Re: Oldest age to start medical school?

I'll never tell my kid to go to med school, nor will I tell him NOT to go. I'll tell him why I went, what I love about my job, what I don't love about it, and the reasons why I would or wouldn't do it again if given the chance. My dad, also a doc, did the same for me, so I went through it all knowi...
by zebrafish
Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oldest age to start medical school?
Replies: 44
Views: 5744

Re: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons

From someone also in the business... I do not think there is any website, metric, or feasible way for an outsider to get an accurate assessment of a surgeon's skill. Sad, but true. Internet reviews are completely useless. Frequently negative reviews are from people with unreasonable expectations or ...
by zebrafish
Wed Aug 13, 2014 11:11 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Place to Do Research on Orthopedic Surgeons
Replies: 28
Views: 1918

Re: $65k bonus for student loans...considering not taking it

It would be hard to turn down 65K in debt forgiveness NOW, even if you had to pay taxes on this money. This represents over 20% of your debt burden.

You never know what the future will bring with your life, your priorities, or the loan forgiveness program.
by zebrafish
Mon Aug 11, 2014 11:47 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: $65k bonus for student loans...considering not taking it
Replies: 30
Views: 3422

Re: Getting started - downpayment vs. investing

If your time horizon for needing the money is only 3-4 years, I would not invest in stocks. Stock investing is too risky for such a short time period.

I would use previous suggestion of CD or "high interest" savings account.
by zebrafish
Tue Aug 05, 2014 10:06 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Getting started - downpayment vs. investing
Replies: 5
Views: 552

Re: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports

Davebo: Your son is very lucky to have a father who is not only involved in his life but willing to ask questions, admit mistakes and rethink parenting issues when something seems "off." So, whether or not he ends up being into sports, he is likely to turn out just fine because of your at...
by zebrafish
Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:02 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How To Encourage A Young (Sensitive) Child In Sports
Replies: 115
Views: 5882

Re: Genetic Testing

From 23andMe: At this time, we have suspended our health-related genetic tests to comply with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s directive to discontinue new consumer access during our regulatory review process. In the future, you may be able to receive health-related results, dependent upon F...
by zebrafish
Mon May 05, 2014 10:52 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Genetic Testing
Replies: 10
Views: 1202

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

CFTY Gene Com Varients $700 [$4045] Molecular Pathology Interp $24 [$81] Thyroxine; Free $8 [$92] FMR1 Gene Detection $954 [$0] Mopath Procedure Level 2 $2550 [$850] This is somewhat helpful. CFTR genotyping should cost maybe ~$200-400; $700 is expensive, $4045 is ridiculous FMR1 Gene detection sho...
by zebrafish
Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5308

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Deleted based on information provided later...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5308

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Deleted based on information provided later...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:05 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5308

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Deleted based on information provided later...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 11:00 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5308

Re: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance

Doctors, what would you do in a situation like this? Would you alert a patient if a group of tests could potentially cost them thousands out of pocket? Does your office call their insurance if there is a concern about coverage? I order DNA tests costing in the range of $500 to $6000+ almost every d...
by zebrafish
Tue Apr 08, 2014 10:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Expensive med. test not covered by insurance
Replies: 74
Views: 5308

Re: Bogleheads/Paul Merriman

Paul Merriman has a great podcast for someone who is just learning about indexing and investing. He is one of the "good guys". In the pure indexing vs. slice/dice/small cap value debate, Paul Merriman is in the latter category. His advice is generally Bogle-esque. Essentially, if you belie...
by zebrafish
Thu Apr 03, 2014 8:34 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bogleheads/Paul Merriman
Replies: 33
Views: 4085

Re: Earthquake insurance in California

We carry it because: 1. Earthquakes happen here. 2. Our home is a substantial asset as well as a place to live where we choose to live. 3. We can't afford to rebuild it without using investment and retirement money that we want to live on, not put into our home. 4. We don't want to take out another...
by zebrafish
Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:09 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Earthquake insurance in California
Replies: 27
Views: 1848

Re: how to best support cancer research?

I don't think you can go wrong with the American Cancer Society. Both my spouse and I have received funding and done some ad hoc reviewing for them. This is a very good organization which is funding very important basic science and clinical research that will help discover new cancer treatments. Con...
by zebrafish
Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: how to best support cancer research?
Replies: 9
Views: 881

Re: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.

4. Up until a few years ago, wife was contributing to traditional 401k, but then started contributing to Roth 401k. When we look up the 401k online, it indicates it is a Roth 401k. We need to better understand how this is split, also on the to-do list. Currently, 100% of your contributions appear t...
by zebrafish
Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:13 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.
Replies: 26
Views: 3711

Re: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.

1. What is the best strategy to simplify the investments in order to achieve the three/four fund portfolio allocation? One strategy you might consider: 1) Sell all your Roth investments and consolidate them into single money market fund (still within each Roth) 2) Transfer the Roth(s) to Vanguard (...
by zebrafish
Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Seeking advice on Fund Choices, AA, IRA Custodian, etc.
Replies: 26
Views: 3711

Re: Tipping for a haircut at Great Clips

I drop a 20 for haircut w/o shampoo.

C'mon people! These people are working hard for their money. Spare a couple bucks, already.
by zebrafish
Mon Mar 10, 2014 11:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping for a haircut at Great Clips
Replies: 56
Views: 4468

Re: Any Subaru owners out there?

2009 Outback Wagon. It is the first Subaru I have owned.
A fantastic Car. Currently at 150,000k miles, taking a beating, and still going strong.
It has tons of room for tall people. I'm over 6 feet, and I have several inches of clearance.
I'd definitely buy another.
by zebrafish
Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:36 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Any Subaru owners out there?
Replies: 53
Views: 5081

Re: Student loans and investing

What is the rationale to try to pay it all off now versus paying minimum and paying it off quickly once I am finished with residency? Well, I think you could make the argument that you fund a Roth now. But the rest of the money you have-- a guaranteed ~7% return on every dollar you put on the debt ...
by zebrafish
Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loans and investing
Replies: 3
Views: 407

Re: Move to California means what $ ?

I'll chime in that the 10% state income tax is a real kick in the gut.
by zebrafish
Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:16 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Move to California means what $ ?
Replies: 55
Views: 4703

Re: Student loans and investing

You may need some cash towards the end of residency to move/relocate. You need an emergency fund. Your student loans have very high interest rate. Some here will tell you that you should do a Roth, because you'll never get that Roth space back in the future. I see the validity of this point. Persona...
by zebrafish
Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Student loans and investing
Replies: 3
Views: 407

Re: HELP! Medical costs

The level of service (III) may have to do with the number of history elements, physical exam elements, review of medical data, etc. documented by the M.D. This may have little to do with your subjective view of "severity" I would say $1400 for an ED visit, exam, irrigation, and wound closu...
by zebrafish
Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: HELP! Medical costs
Replies: 57
Views: 3491

Re: Genetic testing: financial implications

1) I assume a positive test result could preclude me from buying life insurance. See, e.g., http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 102109.htm If so, should I buy life insurance prior to getting tested? If I subsequently test negative, I can presumably cancel my coverage. Yes, it is recommended...
by zebrafish
Fri Feb 21, 2014 12:00 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Genetic testing: financial implications
Replies: 11
Views: 1034

Re: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu

I agree about waiting until after the offer. I always wonder about people who ask this question-- why are they asking this? Are they just going to come here and slack? I'm not sure that is a snafu, actually. Post-offer, you can probably get this type of information. But I think you have to be carefu...
by zebrafish
Wed Feb 19, 2014 10:47 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Offer Negotiation / Interview Snafu
Replies: 177
Views: 31936

Re: Choosing between sub-par 401k funds & Roth IRA

I'm confused. If your 401k is half of your total retirement, and your desired large cap component is 50% of the total portfolio, why can't you invest all of your 401k in Spartan 500? Then the roth gets split up into the rest of the desired assets and allocations. But, I suppose by the end of the yea...
by zebrafish
Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:46 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Choosing between sub-par 401k funds & Roth IRA
Replies: 17
Views: 797

Re: Cord Blood? [Donating newborn cord blood to charity]

I don't see any reason now to bank cord blood. Expense is very high, and risk is very, very low for using it in current medical paradigm (if the donor needed a bone marrow transplant for some reason). In the future, we may use stem cells much more for "routine" medicine; however, for this ...
by zebrafish
Sun Feb 09, 2014 4:53 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood? [Donating newborn cord blood to charity]
Replies: 16
Views: 1747

Re: Withdrawal Roth IRA to pay down student loans

There is no way I would cash out a retirement fund and pay a 10% penalty to pay off a student loan. Your income is pretty good. Get aggressive and use cash flow to pay down the debt.
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:53 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Withdrawal Roth IRA to pay down student loans
Replies: 9
Views: 624

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

It sounds like the OP has some good ideas about how to build the team back up. I think the advice about putting yourself in the other person's shoes is very helpful, and I agree that most people are not toxic jerks (though I have seen a couple), but rational human beings. I constantly battle this in...
by zebrafish
Thu Jan 30, 2014 11:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2141

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

Fallible wrote:Could not agree more on a mentor and for all the reasons you mention. I would add that there also are downsides to be aware of and the OP could google for those.


A good mentor can really be a win-win. Properly chosen, you can get good advice, and generally the mentor helps advance your career.
by zebrafish
Tue Jan 28, 2014 11:39 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2141

Re: Investing vs. Paying High Interest Student Loans

The student loan interest rate is high. It is not clear how much: 1) you can save per year towards down payment/debt payment, and 2) you plan to borrow when you purchase a home Both of these kind of factor into the equation. You have a good income. Why can't you pay down the student loans AND save e...
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:29 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Investing vs. Paying High Interest Student Loans
Replies: 7
Views: 578

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

I'm thinking I need to have a "put my foot down" sort of chat with the problem employee. He is still trying to bypass me for things he would have ran past our boss, such as schedule change requests, travel reimbursements, and so on. I was thinking something along the lines of "If you...
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:59 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2141

Re: Resources for learning management techniques

I'm not sure it is a lack of leadership/managerial training on your part. It sounds like your coworker is a selfish bitter jerk, and both you and he know you don't have a lot of power to make that person behave. No amount of "training" can overcome this problem in certain circumstances. If...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Resources for learning management techniques
Replies: 37
Views: 2141

Re: Please help with 401K fund selection

Another option would be to choose 100% Wellington in the 401k and keep the Roth in LifeStrategy Growth.

Wellington is very near the desired asset allocation (75/25 vs 80/20) and it would be simpler approach. Wellington isn't purely index, but it has a lot of supporters in the Boglehead community.
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:57 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with 401K fund selection
Replies: 11
Views: 456

Re: Please help with 401K fund selection

I would invest to get the maximum employer match. One long-term option is to allocate the entire 401k contribution into the "Principal Global Large Cap S&P 500 Index 0.31" which is a low-cost index option, and then balance out the rest of the portfolio with funds in the Roth to create ...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:51 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Please help with 401K fund selection
Replies: 11
Views: 456

Re: If trading is a losing game, how do you explain prop fir

Insider trading, that's how I explain it Ding, ding, ding. + infinity There was a great episode of Frontline on PBS about this recently ("To Catch A Trader"). It did several things: 1) made me sick about how (some, but probably most) Wall Street traders, active mutual funds, and hedge fun...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 26, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If trading is a losing game, how do you explain prop firms?
Replies: 38
Views: 3193

Re: Only debt left is upside-down mortgage: What next?

My logic currently is that the money that goes into my Roth can always be used in the event I need to get out of my house abruptly within in the next 2 years, and be better served there than it would be in my money market account. I've also toyed with the idea of putting all $1700 "extra"...
by zebrafish
Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:13 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only debt left is upside-down mortgage: What next?
Replies: 24
Views: 2246

Re: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?

I agree that life is short. I'm not disparaging those who are into cars, but I came to the personal realization that: 1) Vehicles immediately depreciate 2) A vehicle is a tool-- it gets you from A to B 3) Someone will always have a nicer car than you 4) Most people do not own their nice cars 5) I'd ...
by zebrafish
Tue Jan 21, 2014 2:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Truck/Car Envy....How do You Deal with It?
Replies: 64
Views: 5282

Re: Only debt left is upside-down mortgage: What next?

It seems like you are looking for a job and that if you got another good job offer, that you would move if you could. Right now, it sounds like you can move by making less optimal financial moves (raiding a Roth, etc) Thus, I would probably use extra money to pay down the mortgage (or boosting your ...
by zebrafish
Tue Jan 21, 2014 1:43 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Only debt left is upside-down mortgage: What next?
Replies: 24
Views: 2246

Re: Term life with medical history - best way to ensure cove

How about apply, answer the questions posed honestly, and see what quotes are provided?
by zebrafish
Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Term life with medical history - best way to ensure coverage
Replies: 12
Views: 591

Re: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids

tibbitts wrote:Is there only one set of grandparents? You don't want to move to where one set of grandparents live, unless the other set lives there too, barring extraordinary circumstances.


It depends very heavily on the grandparent(s) and how they get along with you and the spouse in-law 8-)
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 19, 2014 3:18 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids
Replies: 19
Views: 772

Re: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids

We (dual income) moved from a high COLA to a low COLA based on an out-of-the-blue job offer I received. We already had a toddler at the time. The move was absolutely trivial except for the usual mover snafus. Even so, it was not painful at all. It was more like going on vacation. If you have profes...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 19, 2014 1:19 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids
Replies: 19
Views: 772

Re: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids

I can also say that, depending on your line of work, it can be difficult to find the "perfect" job for two people moving to the same city at the same time. Are you freaking out too much about the expense side of it? Yes. Can you execute a long-distance move with an infant? Yes. Is it more ...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids
Replies: 19
Views: 772

Re: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids

1. Difficult to make a decision about a job where you haven't even interviewed; if it is a really good opportunity, I might take it. If your goal is to get to the midwest, this might be a great opportunity. Get all the information, then make a decision. 2. Kids do more than decrease your savings rat...
by zebrafish
Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:37 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seeking Advice - Job Change, Move, House, Kids
Replies: 19
Views: 772
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