Search found 899 matches

by downshiftme
Fri Jun 23, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?
Replies: 33
Views: 2195

Re: New cars w/ no CD player -- what can I do with my CDs?

I had the reverse problem with a car so old it had no CD player. The solution was to buy an aftermaket car CD player and have it installed. I would expect this would work just as well for a car so new that there is no factory CD player.
by downshiftme
Mon Jun 19, 2017 3:25 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Garage Parking Aid
Replies: 28
Views: 1971

Re: Garage Parking Aid

My parents use the hanging tennis ball and it is a GREAT solution. I see others have suggested using adhesive attachments if you don't want to drill concrete. Another alternative is a plastic kids play sign. We have a freestanding sign (doesn't matter what it says) that is light enough to withstand ...
by downshiftme
Thu Jun 15, 2017 3:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is it worth moving for a better public high school?
Replies: 32
Views: 2119

Re: Is it worth moving for a better public high school?

I am all for moving to get a better school, but you need to know a lot more about the schools than the rankings. In fact a #700 school might be quite excellent. High schools that are big enough offer a wide variety of programs and understanding how these match (or don't) compared to your children's ...
by downshiftme
Wed Jun 07, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University ??? worth it?
Replies: 120
Views: 6967

Re: Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University ??? worth it?

Hard to believe following a 7 step plan, something your grandmother already told you about is such a scam. Or reading a book and taking the advise you believe in is a scam. I would believe that is a little harsh. The basic material is available in his other publications and it really is basic. I do...
by downshiftme
Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: "Paying" a minor for otherwise uncompensated work
Replies: 37
Views: 2815

Re: "Paying" a minor for otherwise uncompensated work

I'm not an expert here, but doesn't he have to be paying you for work that you perform FOR HIM? I cannot just pay my kid for going to summer camp, and then the kid uses that money to fund a Roth IRA. People with family business can pay their kids a reasonable (defensible) wage for working around the...
by downshiftme
Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:53 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Thoughts on emergency account amount.
Replies: 22
Views: 2305

Re: Thoughts on emergency account amount.

My emergency account has drifted up and down, depending on circumstances. In days when I believed that I could easily find a new job should I unexpectedly lose my current job, I figured 3 months of expenses would be enough, and I could stretch it a bit by belt tightening if needed. In days when the ...
by downshiftme
Wed May 31, 2017 4:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job offer without an in person interview
Replies: 41
Views: 3467

Re: Job offer without an in person interview

I've never seen a job where there wasn't some type of detailed face to face interview (or at least a video call). I think this is a very odd process and I would have a lot of concerns about accepting such a job. Effectively they are skipping a very basic step of actually seeing you in person, but a...
by downshiftme
Thu May 25, 2017 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Help! Renters asking for radon mitigation--what do I need to do?
Replies: 18
Views: 1660

Re: Help! Renters asking for radon mitigation--what do I need to do?

There's a good chance that a reading of 6.6 can be remediated with something as simple as a fan. You probably want to have your own test to confirm the reading and find out all the available options, but closed unventilated spaces can often be "fixed" with very simple ventilation.
by downshiftme
Mon May 22, 2017 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: IRS tax letter triggered by Turbotax's 8606
Replies: 38
Views: 4302

Re: IRS tax letter triggered by Turbotax's 8606

Have purchased Audit Defense, I put in a call to them and found that it's not exactly straightforward to get help. So far, I've been told that Turbotax has no bugs connected to 8606 If this is the level of audit defense they put up, then are you entitled to a refund of the fee you paid? This hardly...
by downshiftme
Fri May 05, 2017 5:27 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When you didn't have 401(k)/403(b), did you have IRA?
Replies: 46
Views: 2175

Re: When you didn't have 401(k)/403(b), did you have IRA?

Oh, I feel old contemplating all the responses from Bogleheads who always had IRA and 401k as choices. Back in the day, IRA was the only game in town. In fact, I have a little savings from BEFORE an IRA was even possible. Over the years, the limits changed and some employers didn't offer 401k even a...
by downshiftme
Tue May 02, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 401k administrator requiring net worth
Replies: 40
Views: 2830

Re: 401k administrator requiring net worth

mrsytf wrote: I would not lie. I would continue to refuse and state my case. I absolutely WOULD lie. Just like I do when a stranger cold calls my house and starts asking financial questions for a "survey" or something. They are trying to build a file so they can make a case that the inves...
by downshiftme
Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:13 pm
Forum: Local Chapters and Bogleheads Community
Topic: The next generation of Boglehead authors
Replies: 41
Views: 3658

Re: The next generation of Boglehead authors

JL Collins is very accessible for the next generation of Bogleheads.

jlcollinsnh.com
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical Alert Services
Replies: 11
Views: 863

Re: Medical Alert Services

If your parent has any kind of independent mobility, for instance takes cab rides to go shopping or to movies, then any unit that relies on a base station will not work when they are out of the house. Look for cellular phone services if that feature is needed.
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does Insurance Have to Pay an Out-of-Network Ambulance Bill in Full?
Replies: 46
Views: 3119

Re: Does Insurance Have to Pay an Out-of-Network Ambulance Bill in Full?

In network hospital arranged transpiration for me (a patient) with their usual ambulance service to another in network facility for covered treatment. The ambulance ride was not covered by insurance. Balance billing is disallowed for in-network providers who have agreed to the insurance network's te...
by downshiftme
Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer Being "Bought Out" By Another Company
Replies: 11
Views: 1125

Re: Employer Being "Bought Out" By Another Company

I've been on both sides of this, part of a company that was acquired, and part of a company that acquired other companies. In most cases, one of the motivating factors is that executives believe that combining the two operations can result in operating efficiencies. The combined company payroll depa...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 14, 2017 9:18 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Breaks Down on Long Road Trip
Replies: 55
Views: 4757

Re: Car Breaks Down on Long Road Trip

This did happen to us a few years ago. We ended up doing exactly what others have suggested. It was a short blip of a delay in the trip and a little logistics at the end to claim the repaired car. Otherwise a nice vacation and an enjoyable trip all around. 1. leave vehicle at nearest facility for re...
by downshiftme
Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:23 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online high school
Replies: 38
Views: 2516

Re: Online high school

My son was a very motivated learner and tried online high school classes for subjects he wanted to try that were not available in the local school. It was frustrating and did not live up to the promises. The "lectures" were video with no opportunity for interaction and the quality was very...
by downshiftme
Sun Apr 09, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: [Tax] software asks driver license number
Replies: 15
Views: 1474

Re: [Tax] software asks driver license number

I do not understand how providing my driver's license will help with taxes. Tax data is already targeted by fraudsters claiming fake refunds. If anything having the tax data also include driver's licenses makes the tax data a bigger target for hackers who can access not just financial data but perso...
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:15 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 144
Views: 14415

Re: Social Security for Millennials

This statement is correct in absolute terms, but incorrect in relative terms. (You're both right.) If you pay more in, you get more absolute dollars out. However, the lower income person gets a bigger relative benefit for each contribution. The system is too complicated for simple statements like t...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 07, 2017 5:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Booze on a Cruise
Replies: 68
Views: 6977

Re: Cost of Booze on a Cruise

Which cruise line are you considering?


Was looking at Norwegian, Holland America, Celebrity or Viking River cruises. But never having been on any cruise, I'm mostly looking for an interesting trip and probably fun ports to visit.
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cost of Booze on a Cruise
Replies: 68
Views: 6977

Re: Cost of Booze on a Cruise

I have not been on a cruise, but am considering one in the fall. Is this fascination with alcohol and the best ways to get alcohol on board a common theme for cruising? It sounds like a major on board activity may be drinking, which likely would not be of much interest to me. The cruise line is real...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 07, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 144
Views: 14415

Re: Social Security for Millennials

A few of my older relatives don't like this uncertainty and opted to take SS right at age 62. And then there's always the risk you might not live very long (or at all) to collect the larger payment distributed to those who wait until age 70. My older relatives, all in their 80's and 90's now, felt ...
by downshiftme
Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Leaving Employer
Replies: 3
Views: 813

Re: Leaving Employer

If you don't need the cash flow, then this seems like a very good idea. You can live on other taxable funds and get this after-tax amount safely sheltered in a Roth. Good plan.
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 05, 2017 5:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Trying to Persuade an Employer to Improve an ADP 401(k)
Replies: 29
Views: 1803

Re: Trying to Persuade an Employer to Improve 401(k)

My smaller employer also had a broker involved with the 401k plan. After years of suggestions, we switched to a new plan with the same broker and only slightly better ERs (went from 3% average to 2%). After a couple more years of suggestions, including actually delivering proposals from providers to...
by downshiftme
Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:45 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Moving/bending a King Size Mattress
Replies: 15
Views: 1190

Re: Moving/bending a King Size Mattress

On a long haul move, the movers told us it is standard practice to fold the king mattress in half to get it around corners. we bent a king mattress to get it into our last townhome. it was never the same after that That mattress never felt right after the bend and tended to sag into the middle where...
by downshiftme
Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Security deposit issues upon rental move-out. Or, how do I not get ripped off?
Replies: 39
Views: 2842

Re: Security deposit issues upon rental move-out. Or, how do I not get ripped off?

Despite much cleaning and no damage, I have had landlords that quickly returned the entire security deposit and landlords that had a long list of items that consumed most or all of my security deposit. It never seemed to matter what I did or how much care I took. My options for contesting those land...
by downshiftme
Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:32 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Social Security for Millennials
Replies: 144
Views: 14415

Re: Social Security for Millennials

I'm not a millennial, but my approach to this question has been the same my entire working career, even when I was the age millennials are currently. I have very limited ability to influence the political solutions needed by Social Security, so I cannot count on it as a certainty. I hope it will be ...
by downshiftme
Sun Apr 02, 2017 9:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Young-ish bogleheads: How much (if any) social security do you expect in retirement?
Replies: 88
Views: 4664

Re: Young-ish bogleheads: How much (if any) social security do you expect in retirement?

I generally hope for the best and plan for the worst. When I created a retirement spreadsheet I assumed I wouldn't get any. Most people like to build in a little extra safety into their projections just in case (ie plan for a 3% SWR when they know 4% should be okay still). I view it as part of that...
by downshiftme
Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:38 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: New Job - Retirement Options
Replies: 12
Views: 1411

Re: New Job - Retirement Options

Unless you plan to be with this employer for a very long time, or believe that this employer will never upgrade their 401k to a better plan with better fees then it usually still makes sense to contribute to the least bad option and get the tax advantages. If they later upgrade their plan, or you mo...
by downshiftme
Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce
Replies: 55
Views: 3521

Re: Divorcing and handling shared and split assets after divorce

Nesting is difficult, but it can be made to work. Essentially the family house is the kids house and parents rotate in and out. Awkward, but workable. I think your plan will have problems not because of the nesting, but because of the shared housing for parents. Very few divorced partners will want ...
by downshiftme
Thu Mar 30, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: An Edward Jones Financial Advisor stopped by my house and spoke with my wife
Replies: 111
Views: 12417

Re: An Edward Jones Financial Advisor stopped by my house and spoke with my wife

Vanguard does not call you to encourage you to stay in the market in a downturn. These are things that an (advisername) rep will do for you This notion that an adviser adds value by counseling investors to stay the course in downturns is just plain false. Some advisers may do so, some may do so som...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 28, 2017 5:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Not opting for 529... anyone else?
Replies: 175
Views: 10765

Re: Not opting for 529... anyone else?

Used Education IRAs, then called Coverdales for a time, but didn't see a huge advantage to accepting the restrictions. Only had a few thousand in these shelters. By using a plain taxable account for most of the money and relatively tax efficient index funds, we were able to fully fund college and no...
by downshiftme
Mon Mar 27, 2017 6:24 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean
Replies: 52
Views: 4424

Re: Need advice about massive changes in daughter's college program by dean

Unfortunately, the actual specifics really matter here, so anyone offering suggestions will be making a lot of guesses and assumptions. the future focus will be on the social, psychological and political meaning of underwater basket weaving. This sounds like neither an academic approach, nor a techn...
by downshiftme
Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Ever apply a competitor and have word get back to your employer?
Replies: 29
Views: 3236

Re: Ever apply a competitor and have word get back to your employer?

Depending on your industry, it's very easy for word to get back to your employer. Even if you have an agreement with HR not to call any current employer references, it's surprisingly common for people you interview with to have friends who changed companies and work for any of your past employers an...
by downshiftme
Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.
Replies: 45
Views: 4578

Re: Divesting to heirs. When and how quickly.

I am approaching a similar situation (heirs on the younger end, my assets much less than you describe) but still in the range that heirs will expect a $million or more should I die. I'd like to start gifting or something to keep my estate from growing too large, but have similar concerns. I'm very i...
by downshiftme
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Turning down employer provided universal life insurance?
Replies: 26
Views: 2969

Re: Turning down employer provided universal life insurance?

Why would an employer want to provide an expensive whole life policy instead of a lower cost term life policy? Something seems very odd about this whole setup.
by downshiftme
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor
Replies: 39
Views: 3524

Re: Convincing Someone To Dump A Bad Financial Advisor

Just trying to get my head around these fees. If I'm a financial adviser with only THREE retired clients (assuming similar sized portfolios), and I am taking 1.5% from each of these portfolios, my aggregate fee is MORE than the typical 4% SWR of the clients themselves. This seems absurdly well paid ...
by downshiftme
Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Father is 90, taking over his investments
Replies: 23
Views: 2730

Re: Father is 90, taking over his investments

Did you Dad ever express his interests for how he wanted this money treated? Given that it's all in cash now, that's probably what he wanted. In my "In case I'm incapacitated" file, I have explicit instructions for how to invest my assets if my Power of Attorney needs to be invoked and I s...
by downshiftme
Wed Mar 15, 2017 6:58 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?
Replies: 167
Views: 18706

Re: Early Retirement - what to do about healthcare?

Before ACA, one common strategy for early retirees was to find some kind of affiliation group or professional society with a group health plan and join that. Alternatively, people ran small companies to form their own small group plan, which was a lot of work and complicated. With the advent of ACA,...
by downshiftme
Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:58 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?
Replies: 56
Views: 3939

Re: At what age did you drop life and disability insurance?

Age had nothing to do with it. I kept life insurance until my net worth was great enough that what my kids would inherit would be enough to comfortably raise them through college and into a self sustaining adulthood. That was sometime in my early 40's, but it was the financial milestone that trigger...
by downshiftme
Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:26 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Suggestions for this rollover mess?
Replies: 1
Views: 188

Re: Suggestions for this rollover mess?

You may need to get a three way call with both parties talking to each other. Playing shuttle diplomat is a slow way to make progress and can be a waste of time. This has gone on long enough that you should have a bit of clout about getting them to talk to each other.
by downshiftme
Sat Feb 18, 2017 10:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good Modern Science Fiction
Replies: 241
Views: 27595

Re: Good Modern Science Fiction

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson

Blackout / AllClear by Connie Willis

The Name of the Wind / Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Martian (movie is good, but the book is a different experience) by Andy Weir
by downshiftme
Tue Feb 14, 2017 6:20 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 24 with a $300,000 trust. Need Advice
Replies: 13
Views: 1308

Re: 24 with a $300,000 trust. Need Advice

I am no expert in trusts, but if I had an extra $300,000 to invest, I would NOT select individual stocks and I would not select two companies in the same business. There is no diversification at all. Are there tax implications if the trustee sells, possibly appreciated, shares? Can you direct the tr...
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Spendthrift Daughter
Replies: 44
Views: 3785

Re: Spendthrift Daughter

I would think it would only cause a rift between the daughter and deceased father. At first glance, this seems like a possible consequence, but the deceased father is deceased, so there's no point in harboring a rift with him. Instead the cut-off daughter is likely to turn her resentment to her sib...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 30, 2017 4:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would you put 1 million dollars in ONE credit union...
Replies: 17
Views: 3188

Re: Would you put 1 million dollars in ONE credit union...

Thanks for all the good suggestions about how to verify that the deposits are in fact insured or not. But I would also add to the discussion, is this one million dollars out of a much larger portfolio, or is this one million pretty much the entire portfolio? If this is just a portion of the portfoli...
by downshiftme
Fri Jan 27, 2017 5:04 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How Do You Pay Your Monthly Bills?
Replies: 42
Views: 3975

Re: How Do You Pay Your Monthly Bills?

Having a separate card for some bills and a different card (or cards) for other uses will limit the damage if one card is compromised. However, leaving the card at home won't make much difference. The card numbers (and expiration and CVV) are freely given out whenever you make a purchase, so they ca...
by downshiftme
Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Helping with sisters 401k with principal
Replies: 5
Views: 345

Re: Helping with sisters 401k with principal

This looks like the Principal plan we used to have. Your best option may be to select one of the lower cost equity options like SP500, and then balance with bonds in an IRA. If this isn't a lifetime job, you can roll whatever you own to better funds when you leave this job.
by downshiftme
Fri Jan 27, 2017 4:39 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are two in one Washer/Dryer combos a thing?
Replies: 17
Views: 2432

Re: Are two in one Washer/Dryer combos a thing?

Yes, they do make them. In a compact apartment my friend had one, didn't like it and switched to two separate units stacked on top of each other as a better solution. This was perhaps 10 years ago, so maybe the technology has improved.
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:04 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Wells Fargo - no more 100 free trades (for new accounts)?
Replies: 26
Views: 13740

Re: Wells Fargo - no more 100 free trades (for new accounts)?

As my kids get old enough to open their own accounts, they have enjoyed the PMA benefits by linking their accounts to mine. For banking, this made Wells Fargo a very attractive proposition to get their business. Now that they are going to open a first IRA account (for tax year 2016) we have discover...

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