Search found 1007 matches

by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 4:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is your opinion on the Federal goverment retirement plan?
Replies: 43
Views: 3185

Re: What is your opinion on the Federal goverment retirement plan?

As a related matter (apologies in advance if inappropriate), can anyone offer advice in getting a federal job for someone in I.T.? I was let go from my private sector job (programming/systems analysis) in the Unix/C/C++/Oracle area after 25 years with a BS and MS in math and engineering and compute...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: magic numbers on checks
Replies: 20
Views: 1161

Re: magic numbers on checks

adamthesmythe wrote:Is there some cost advantage to not buying from the bank's printer??


Ever wonder why you can buy checks at Walmart and Costco? That's a clue. (The bank's printer charges about twice as much. At least that has been my experience.)
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motivation to do Yoga / stretch more
Replies: 30
Views: 1779

Re: Motivation to do Yoga / stretch more

Here's the most recent research on static stretching before exercise: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/01/2 ... -the-past/

Seems the contemporary research is always changing. . .
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need professional liability insurance?
Replies: 25
Views: 913

Re: Do I need professional liability insurance?

To other professionals who serve on boards of non-profits, etc - wouldn't volunteer work performed during this time be deemed "out of the scope of employment" because you're not at work? This is something that concerns me because as the CPA on the board, if there is a fraud taking place i...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 10:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do I need professional liability insurance?
Replies: 25
Views: 913

Re: Do I professional liability insurance?

In what circumstances do I (or any of us) need professional liability insurance? Are we indemnified by our employers, and therefore do not carry significant liability as long as what we do at work is in good faith? Or do I need to carry professional liability insurance to protect me against a poten...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Motivation to do Yoga / stretch more
Replies: 30
Views: 1779

Re: Motivation to do Yoga / stretch more

You should start with a few classes at a studio or with a few private lessons. Don't start with a home program. A DVD or YouTube video can't tell whether you're doing the poses correctly. It's no different than starting a new sport. Golf, for instance. If you start by watching a video, you'll pick u...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:10 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 403b questions
Replies: 12
Views: 650

Re: 403b questions

OP, not all 403b plans are terrible (although the ones offered to teachers often are). And the reason investments inside 403b plans are often wrapped in annuities is because that was required by law when Congress initially authorized 403b plans. That's why the 403b market is still dominated by insur...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 11, 2016 8:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wife just got a VM from a debt collector
Replies: 43
Views: 3701

Re: Wife just got a VM from a debt collector

I have a fairly common last name and get these calls all the time. They're always looking for someone else, usually someone with whom I share a first initial. I have tried to call some of the collection agencies in the past to inform them that I'm not who they're looking for. They don't seem to care...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 09, 2016 7:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Car for Family of 5?
Replies: 60
Views: 2918

Re: Best Car for Family of 5?

I once said I would never drive a minivan. Now I drive a Honda Odyssey and cannot stop talking about how much I love it. Don't get one of those huge SUVs that drive like a tank. The minivan drives like a dream by comparison. I just took mine on a 12-hour roadtrip carrying two adults, two small child...
by Rupert
Fri Feb 05, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: keep or sell house after separation
Replies: 36
Views: 2030

Re: keep or sell house after separation

I would sell the house. While I agree that it is normally better to wait and not make major decisions during times of emotional crises, in this case waiting means you have to cough up $50k. I think it is THAT which you may later regret. You feel a tie to the house now only because you are in the mid...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: If SS covers expenses why invest?
Replies: 64
Views: 4409

Re: If SS covers expenses why invest?

I had one grandparent with severe dementia who lived into her mid-80s. Before she needed 24-hour care, social security more than met her minimal needs. She had a paid-for house on a family farm. When she got sick, social security came nowhere near covering the costs. We sold the farm and the house (...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sibling's destination wedding?
Replies: 110
Views: 6041

Re: Sibling's destination wedding?

If you want to maintain a relationship with your sibling, you should go. Perhaps alone or perhaps just with your spouse (if that's possibility). One great thing about having kids is that they provide you with a million excuses to get out of going to things you don't want to go to, e.g., "Sorry ...
by Rupert
Thu Feb 04, 2016 12:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Tax refund - paper check or direct deposit?
Replies: 13
Views: 756

Re: Tax refund - paper check or direct deposit?

Is it safer to get your tax refund in the form of a paper check rather than direct deposit? The concern is that if the tax return gets into the hands of "bad guys" through hacking or to a company who wants a copy to do a credit check, they'd have your bank account information and could us...
by Rupert
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:23 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403(b)
Replies: 9
Views: 558

Re: 403(b)

Yours is definitely a strange situation. What sort of nonprofit do you work for? And why would your higher salary automatically result in a shifting from 401k to 403b contributions? Does it possibly have something to do with highly compensated employees and the 401k plan's discrimination testing? It...
by Rupert
Wed Feb 03, 2016 9:13 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

I have been contemplating an almost identical project for a year or so (right down to the master bath being at the back of the house, wanting to remodel it and tack a new master bedroom and closet behind it). I discussed it with a general contractor friend and asked him for a very rough back-of-the...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 02, 2016 4:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?
Replies: 44
Views: 2945

Re: Cost of home addition? Should I do it?

I have been contemplating an almost identical project for a year or so (right down to the master bath being at the back of the house, wanting to remodel it and tack a new master bedroom and closet behind it). I discussed it with a general contractor friend and asked him for a very rough back-of-the-...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Babysitter not providing SSN
Replies: 59
Views: 5359

Re: Babysitter not providing SSN

Really? It happens to my family pretty regularly. When one or another of us has to travel out of town for work or work unusual hours because of some deadline or project, we have to pay someone to care for our children. It doesn't happen every week or even every month, but it happens at least half a...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Babysitter not providing SSN
Replies: 59
Views: 5359

Re: Babysitter not providing SSN

Sorry I just got back on the board today and wowser! To clarify something, the childcare provider is used very sporadically, mainly for work related issues necessitating need so eligible for dep care FSA. I'm sorry but this doesn't make any sense. If you are a two income family, you have well over ...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Silent Investor Owed Lots of Money
Replies: 33
Views: 2364

Re: Silent Investor Owed Lots of Money

I do not know details of loan but it is in writing. Also, FIL said something about a lien connected to his liquor license. Dad needs legal advice. He should get a competent attorney to hear his story, read through this documentation, tell him what he has actually signed up for, and advise him of hi...
by Rupert
Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:13 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 60 Years Old - Forced to Stop Working - Need Investment Advice
Replies: 30
Views: 3644

Re: 60 Years Old - Forced to Stop Working - Need Investment Advice

Word to the wise on SSDI: Unless you have one of a rather short list of ailments that warrant almost automatic payment, claims are usually denied initially, and you have to appeal. In case you haven't seen it, this is a useful link to Social Security's list of impairments that may warrant SSDI payme...
by Rupert
Mon Feb 01, 2016 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Life Insurance HELP! what to pick Term, Whole Life?
Replies: 20
Views: 1330

Re: Life Insurance HELP! what to pick Term, Whole Life?

Use one of the online brokerages - SelectQuote, Accuquote, Term4Sale, etc. Or use an independent broker in your community. An independent broker is not a captive agent for one insurance company, and he/she can shop around to various companies for you based upon your situation, e.g., medical history,...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 31, 2016 8:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How much life insurance do I need?
Replies: 19
Views: 1316

Re: How much life insurance do I need?

Don't forget to factor social security survivor benefits into your calculations. That would likely add an additional $1500 or so per month to the family income should you die prematurely.
by Rupert
Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Most efficient way to improve my writing ability?
Replies: 56
Views: 2585

Re: Most efficient way to improve my writing ability?

There's no way to improve your writing quickly. It takes time. I write for a living and think I'm pretty good at it. Over the years, I've supervised many younger professionals, some of whom were excellent and some of whom were awful writers. Over time, I could make the awful writers into passable wr...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 28, 2016 9:38 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Eating money eating out! Going on a 401k diet. Help!
Replies: 27
Views: 2885

Re: Eating money eating out! Going on a 401k diet. Help!

When I was a single person living in a large city with no car, I had a hard time buying groceries. Grocery shopping at a real grocery store meant I had to hoof it about 12 blocks pulling one of those embarrassing grocery baskets with me or I had to ride the Metro up about 6 stops and then bring my g...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 27, 2016 2:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 403b Contributions in 2015 Different from Paycheck Deductions?
Replies: 2
Views: 157

Re: 403b Contributions in 2015 Different from Paycheck Deductions?

No, you should not be worried. The year it was withheld from your paycheck is the year that counts.
by Rupert
Wed Jan 27, 2016 11:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Roofing Replacement Estimate??
Replies: 24
Views: 1524

Re: Roofing Replacement Estimate??

Do you live in my neighborhood? It's possible. I'm identically situated down to the age and size of the house. (My house is a bit bigger than yours). About 5 years ago, I had my roof replaced for about 9k. They did not replace all the decking, but they did replace a good bit of it. And there was sub...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 25, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Am I paying too much for car and home insurance
Replies: 13
Views: 1849

Re: Am I paying too much for car and home insurance

The amount you're paying for auto insurance seems high to me, but that could be because of where you live. Also, if you have auto and HO with the same company, you may be getting a steep discount on your HO for having multiple policies with the company. So be careful about unbundling the policies. A...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 25, 2016 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dinner Ideas
Replies: 57
Views: 4651

Re: Dinner Ideas

A go to one I use when out of ideas is bbq shredded chicken. 3 pounds of chicken breast in a crock pot with a bottle of BBQ sauce of your choice. Cook for 3ish hours and shred the chicken. Great for sandwiches, on a salad or just by itself with some potatoes or a veggie. +1. This is one of my go-to...
by Rupert
Mon Jan 25, 2016 10:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix increasing prices. Will you keep it?
Replies: 52
Views: 6231

Re: Netflix increasing prices. Will you keep it?

Yes, of course I'll keep it. Netflix (DVDs + HD streaming) + Amazon Prime + the most basic cable package (to get local news, PBS and current network stuff) is still much much cheaper than I used to pay for a standard cable package.
by Rupert
Sat Jan 23, 2016 12:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare: Impact of delaying - What to do?
Replies: 14
Views: 899

Re: Medicare: Impact of delaying - What to do?

mhalley....Wow = Many employers require that you or spouse enroll in Medicare. I had no idea that was the case. That seems like mandating that you take a pay cut. :( This is very common. My small company's BCBS plan automatically kicks you off at age 65, but my company pays employee Medicare premiu...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:21 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: stick with employer-sponsored 401K or roll over to Ameriprise IRA?
Replies: 9
Views: 626

Re: stick with employer-sponsored 401K or roll over to Ameriprise IRA?

No, and I can't believe I'm the first poster to tell you that you should run from Ameriprise to a low-cost provider immediately. If your 401k is expensive and/or has poor investment options, you should consider rolling over into a Vanguard (or other low-cost provider-sponsored) IRA. Do a search for ...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do we need disability insurance
Replies: 24
Views: 1540

Re: Do we need disability insurance

If you think you're going to buy it eventually because you plan to have kids, you should go ahead and buy it now while you're young and healthy. Develop a medical condition a few years from now, and it won't be an option. Don't either of your employers offer a long term group policy? I would think a...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 21, 2016 12:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car tire replacement
Replies: 45
Views: 3224

Re: Car tire replacement

I always print off a quote for my preferred Bridgestone tires from TireRack then take the quote to my local Firestone. The local shop always manages to match or beat the TireRack price, and I get free lifetime rotation. Sometimes they also throw in free road hazard protection too (i.e., repairing ti...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 19, 2016 2:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: pros and cons of gifting vehicle to child?
Replies: 23
Views: 994

Re: pros and cons of gifting vehicle to child?

Insurance will have to be in your name if he still lives at home.... Why is that? I had my own car insurance when I lived with my parents from age 17-21. I'm sure this is state specific, but in the states I've lived in the parents insurance policy was required by law to cover everyone in the house....
by Rupert
Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Taxact breached as well - just saw an article in wsj
Replies: 35
Views: 3577

Re: Taxact breached as well - just saw an article in wsj

You can use Taxact or any other tax software you like without worrying about this if you dispense with e-filing. We went back to filing printed returns a couple of years ago. A trip to the post office is not much trouble at all. JW I don't recall if Intuit eventually changed their stance on this, b...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 19, 2016 10:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP
Replies: 112
Views: 10206

Re: Filled up brand new minivan with DIESEL?? We don't think so. Next steps, need input ASAP

Reading through the thread, I haven't seen it noted why the mechanic concluded that the wrong type of fuel was added. The probability of this being correct (especially with you having determined that diesel is not available at the gas station you went to) is exceptionally low, enough so to discount...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 13, 2016 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thoughts on this NYT article about saving money
Replies: 11
Views: 2753

Re: Thoughts on this NYT article about saving money

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/09/your-money/how-should-you-manage-your-money-and-keep-it-short.html?_r=0 It talks about setting up automatic transfers, getting a smaller house than you need, and investing in index funds. What do bogleheads think about the life insurance part though - paying $50 or...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:56 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bad health news, rethinking everything
Replies: 40
Views: 7155

Re: Bad health news, rethinking everything

These two books were recently recommended to me. You may find them helpful just now. When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi, a profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth...
by Rupert
Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Oil Changes turns into a disaster. What to do?
Replies: 62
Views: 6740

Re: Oil Changes turns into a disaster. What to do?

Your damages are probably going to be limited to the value of your car and/or actual costs incurred, e.g., whatever you've had or will have to pay various mechanics to diagnose and fix your problem. Just about any lawyer you might want to hire is going to set you back much more than that. Small clai...
by Rupert
Sun Jan 10, 2016 5:21 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best Heart Monitor (Exercise type)
Replies: 24
Views: 1502

Re: Best Heart Monitor (Exercise type)

I use the Fitbit Charge HR, but the heart rate monitor is not accurate when exercising. There's actually a class-action lawsuit over the issue. It still works okay for my purposes, as the resting heart rate number is pretty accurate and I hate wearing a chest strap. But if you have a heart condition...
by Rupert
Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS
Replies: 74
Views: 5234

Re: Amazon Prime Shipping Issues since move from UPS to USPS

I haven't experienced any problems with Amazon lately, but I empathize with your USPS issues. Every night about 5:15 it's kinda fun to step out onto my street and watch how many neighbors are running next door or down the street to correctly deliver mail misdelivered earlier in the day by the postal...
by Rupert
Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:07 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: When will vanguard reopen the treasury money mkt fund?
Replies: 10
Views: 1368

Re: When will vanguard reopen the treasury money mkt fund?

Seems like now that the fed has raised rates this should be happening... Wasn't this a million dollar baby? That is, a minimum of $1M entry point? Or, was it $100k, $10k, I just can't remember! Thank you I had a little money in it until recently. It definitely was not a million dollar entry point. ...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Google results bring up other people with your name - job search implications?
Replies: 23
Views: 1710

Re: Google results bring up other people with your name - job search implications?

I am now planning on adding a photo to every resume I send out but how else do I make sure that people do not think that those online searches are me? Don't add a photo to your resume. +1. Adding a photo is weird. Plus it can be perceived as injecting your race/ethnicity into the hiring process, wh...
by Rupert
Wed Jan 06, 2016 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show
Replies: 95
Views: 6210

Re: Netflix, Your Current Favorite Show

Most of my favorites have already been mentioned, but I'll add two more: Happy Valley (British police drama akin to Broadchurch) and Top of the Lake (Twin-Peaks/True-Detective-esque show set in New Zealand but starring Americans Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter).
by Rupert
Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:54 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Purchasing term life from AIG - should we sign my wife up now or wait until after the baby?
Replies: 4
Views: 418

Re: Purchasing term life from AIG - should we sign my wife up now or wait until after the baby?

Are you sure they will write her a policy? Many insurance companies won't write new policies for pregnant women past the first trimester.
by Rupert
Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:39 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How long for savings account rates to increase post-Fed rate hike?
Replies: 3
Views: 474

Re: How long for savings account rates to increase post-Fed rate hike?

I read an article, I think in the NY Times, earlier this week where it was explained that banks are unlikely to increase savings account rates in light of the recent Fed move. The article explained that banks increase rates to attract deposits, i.e., when they need money. But banks have been stockpi...
by Rupert
Fri Dec 18, 2015 10:12 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Wife's 401K being liquidated and moved to new provider
Replies: 9
Views: 368

Re: Wife's 401K being liquidated and moved to new provider

Can't she just roll her money out of the ex-employer's plan into a rollover IRA prior to the transition? When my company switched providers a few years back, we gave former employees that option.
by Rupert
Mon Dec 14, 2015 5:34 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: "American Greed" Question
Replies: 35
Views: 3991

Re: "American Greed" Question

Does a lot of fraud involve violent crime, such as the mafia or drug cartels? It makes sense that if they have the same self-serving nasty personality traits, then they would be willing to commit both types of crimes. Could you provide your personal opinion, if you have one, on this disagreement be...
by Rupert
Mon Dec 14, 2015 2:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 529 Plan advice
Replies: 11
Views: 813

Re: 529 Plan advice

You need her social security number, i.e., the cooperation of the parents, to open a 529 plan for her. 529 plans are state specific, and many states offer a nice tax deduction for 529 plan contributions. You don't have to choose your state's plan, but you should see what your state offers before cho...
by Rupert
Mon Dec 14, 2015 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: March beach vacation idea for family of 5?
Replies: 12
Views: 1661

Re: March beach vacation idea for family of 5?

Well yes, Costa Rica is awesome. Took my family there a few years ago. If you want something closer to home, last march I took the family to a Gulf Coast resort called Destin West http://www.destinwest.com/ which is on Okaloosa Island between Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Although it was our spring...

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