Search found 841 matches

by downshiftme
Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Employer incentive stock options, asking the right questions
Replies: 2
Views: 184

Re: Employer incentive stock options, asking the right questions

I thought that a company WAS obligated to disclose this to option holders. How else can option holders decide whether to exercise options or not. In fact, I believe there is an obligation for the company to do a valuation regularly, even if it is privately held, if there are employee options outstan...
by downshiftme
Thu Dec 01, 2016 7:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Reasonably cheap reading glasses with different strengths?
Replies: 18
Views: 1189

Re: Reasonably cheap reading glasses with different strengths?

I like Zenni for inexpensive eyeglasses. I get separate (different) prescription in each eye. I also used them for my kids glasses. Usually ordered several at a time for kids because the glasses were so cheap it was easy to have a spare on hand. Kids both lose and damage glasses (think sports injuri...
by downshiftme
Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unemployed spouse - what to do?
Replies: 66
Views: 7656

Re: Unemployed spouse - what to do?

I have had people post linkedin recommendations for me unsolicited, and have received email requests for me to post recommendation for others, in some cases years after we worked together. It is not too late to reach out for recommendations. In the greater Seattle area, unemployment is very low, and...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:17 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Justifying after-tax 401K and backdoor ROTH capability to megacorp
Replies: 6
Views: 441

Re: Justifying after-tax 401K and backdoor ROTH capability to megacorp

You can always try the argument that this is a recruiting and employment advantage. The best companies do offer this feature and it strongly appeals to the best and the brightest employees. Unless you want to lose people to other companies that have a better 401k, there's every reason to add this (s...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 16, 2016 2:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?
Replies: 155
Views: 14452

Re: Monthly grocery costs? How do you keep it low?

Diet is a very big part of my health. I work hard to figure out the healthiest food I can reasonably make or get, and then I try to get the right amount so I don't have to throw much of it away. Aside from that, I do not worry about the cost. Good healthy food like fresh vegetables and fruits is rel...
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:58 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to give a young traveller in France some "walking-around money?"
Replies: 25
Views: 2297

Re: How to give a young traveller in France some "walking-around money?"

If you do decide to give paper Euros as the gift, consider also giving a security wallet, like a passport holder on a neckstrap that is worn under the clothes. Pick-pocketing is rife in Paris and on the Metro she is almost certain to be targeted.
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to give a young traveller in France some "walking-around money?"
Replies: 25
Views: 2297

Re: How to give a young traveller in France some "walking-around money?"

We used a US bank account with an ATM debit card. The card was accepted many places in France and getting Euros at local ATMs was simple and fast. In my case we also set up the account so I could see the balance online and locally transfer funds in as needed, but if this is a more distant relative, ...
by downshiftme
Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:03 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Age 92 Dad Wants to Boost stocks
Replies: 52
Views: 4833

Re: Age 92 Dad Wants to Boost stocks

At age 92, actually probably well before age 92, I expect that I will have enough portfolio to sustain my modest wants, especially with SS, pension, annuity payments making up a large part of my monthly budget. At that point I expect to invest the rest of the portfolio for the benefit of my children...
by downshiftme
Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Would a Computer Science certificate benefit my career?
Replies: 29
Views: 1812

Re: Would a Computer Science certificate benefit my career?

The program is free (paid for by my employer). I haven't done much programming. Almost no employer will care about a certificate that's sort-of like half a master's degree. The software world seems to like Computer Science and similar degrees, but disregards all the certificate and related credenti...
by downshiftme
Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:49 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: After Tax 401k Contributions
Replies: 30
Views: 2466

Re: After Tax 401k Contributions

Only a few 401k plans include the ability to contribute after-tax up to the 53k limit. Only very few 401k plans allow in-service rollovers, and especially very few allow in-service rollovers to segregate after-tax from all contributions. Those that are fortunate enough to have them should strongly c...
by downshiftme
Sun Nov 06, 2016 10:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gaming system for kids?
Replies: 53
Views: 3560

Re: Gaming system for kids?

We ended up getting a WiiU for our kids for a few reasons. 1. Many of the games require getting off the couch and moving around. 2. Their seem to be more family friendly games and fewer shoot-em up type games. 3. It has a pretty good exercise program for the adults to use in the winter months. 4. I...
by downshiftme
Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor worth 3%?
Replies: 18
Views: 1759

Re: Advisor worth 3%?

Numerous studies are showing that financial advisors usually earn their keep by functioning as behavioral coaches for their clients rather than from active asset management This claim is completely false. If you select "good" advisors in retrospect by identifying only those who kept their...
by downshiftme
Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Advisor worth 3%?
Replies: 18
Views: 1759

Re: Advisor worth 3%?

Any info about what's on the other end of this blind link? Usual etiquette is to at least include a summary or description of why people might be interested in clicking through.
by downshiftme
Tue Oct 25, 2016 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Thoughts on sleep apnea possible problem
Replies: 7
Views: 1075

Re: Thoughts on sleep apnea possible problem

Snoring is only the tip of the iceberg for problems caused by sleep apnea. Even if you find a way to stop the snoring, you are still at risk for myriad health issues if the underlying apnea is untreated. Go get tested and you will know more about the extent of the problem. If a CPAP machine is recom...
by downshiftme
Sat Oct 22, 2016 11:17 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Side gig: proposed payment in shares of LLC. Run toward or away?
Replies: 21
Views: 1103

Re: Side gig: proposed payment in shares of LLC. Run toward or away?

So the "owners" have an idea. They want your DH to actually make them a product for free, then they will try to sell the company to someone who thinks the product is worthwhile. I don't see any good reason to do this. The "owners" will own all the technology and product and will ...
by downshiftme
Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?
Replies: 250
Views: 14789

Re: Does it matter what type of college one goes to?

I would think it is all about the interview. Would a supervisor who went to Yale hire an applicant that went Yale solely based on that fact? What if he liked the personality more of the applicant that went to a middle of the road state school? I would say he would hire the person that went to the m...
by downshiftme
Sat Oct 22, 2016 9:42 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How to know phone call from mutual fund company is legitimate?
Replies: 18
Views: 1619

Re: How to know phone call from mutual fund company is legitimate?

I've received phishing calls. The best practice is to NEVER divulge any information to someone who calls you. If you think they actually sound legit, ask for a name or issue number - then call back on a number YOU find, never one that they supply. You don't even need to confirm your name, last 4 soc...
by downshiftme
Fri Oct 21, 2016 10:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When have you given enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 5233

Re: When have you given enough?

I sincerely hope my parents regard their money as their money and use it to enhance and improve their lives as much as possible. If I were ever aware of a situation in which they were deferring a cruise in order to improve my inheritance, I hope I would gift them a suitable cruise as soon I discover...
by downshiftme
Wed May 18, 2016 1:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: The inventor of the 401(k) says he created a ‘monster’
Replies: 28
Views: 5121

Re: The inventor of the 401(k) says he created a ‘monster’

Over the years I have been stuck with 401k plans that had high fees, or that limited my investments to less than the usual amounts. I've never had a plan which allowed after tax contributions or mega-backdoor conversions. I'm unhappy that I'm basically at the mercy of my employer to define the optio...
by downshiftme
Thu May 12, 2016 4:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifted math program for 1st grade
Replies: 66
Views: 7348

Re: Gifted math program for 1st grade

It seems that too much time and money is spent on helping both tails of the educational distribution curve. This is not at all my experience. In our gifted programs the budget is LESS than the corresponding general education programs. For highly gifted kids there is no programming available at all ...
by downshiftme
Wed May 11, 2016 9:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Gifted math program for 1st grade
Replies: 66
Views: 7348

Re: Gifted math program for 1st grade

Gifted programs vary widely. Some are excellent and meet needs of the students that cannot be satisfied in regular classrooms. Simply looking at advanced material isn't the only thing they need. Pace and learning styles are much more important than simply being a few grades ahead. Some gifted progra...
by downshiftme
Wed May 04, 2016 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not at fault Car accident, should I file for Arbitration?
Replies: 26
Views: 2264

Re: Not at fault Car accident, should I file for Arbitration?

I was in an almost identical accident some years ago and it was quickly ruled 100% the other driver's fault. His insurance paid fully and promptly. Even if this was a "merge" and not a "turn" there is no right of way to merge into where another car already is. You need to talk to...
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 27, 2016 6:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?
Replies: 12
Views: 622

Re: Any Feedback on Principal as an employer plan custodian?

Expensive. Check your plan, some Principal plans are even more expensive than others. In my experience they are all high-cost plans.
by downshiftme
Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:22 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Reference Procedure
Replies: 5
Views: 674

Re: Job Reference Procedure

This may be highly dependent on the industry you are in, or the company you are applying to. In my years as a high-tech (computer) hiring manager, we NEVER check references until we are sure we want to hire the person. Often most recent references have a danger to the candidate that news of a job se...
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 23, 2016 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Irrevocable Trust - Am I being Bamboozled?
Replies: 50
Views: 5586

Re: Irrevocable Trust - Am I being Bamboozled?

What is the purpose of the trust? It sounds like you are trying to hide her assets so she appears indigent and gets public (veteran benefit) assistance. If not, would a simple power of attorney over her assets be sufficient for what you want and save all the trust fees.
by downshiftme
Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: disability insurance: do I really need it?
Replies: 53
Views: 4852

Re: disability insurance: do I really need it?

You hopefully do not need short-term disability insurance because you have sufficient savings to cover any short term disability. At your young age, you do need long term disability insurance. I never had to make a claim on mine, and eventually dropped it when I got very close to retirement age. My ...
by downshiftme
Tue Apr 19, 2016 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?
Replies: 44
Views: 5325

Re: Got laid off, when can I file for unemployment?

Unemployment varies by state, so confirm the excellent advice you have been given with your local unemployment office. The termination must be somewhat cordial if they are having you stay on until April 29. If this changes and you are asked to leave earlier with a lump sum payment of 2 weeks pay, th...
by downshiftme
Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:54 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: baseball-based board games?
Replies: 11
Views: 1080

Re: baseball-based board games?

Strat-o-Matic is the king of baseball games. The play is pretty simple and the variations are endless. If you have several teams you can also run a draft with your friends and even mix and match players from different eras.
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Aunt has been investing in collectibles for retirement
Replies: 13
Views: 2270

Aunt has been investing in collectibles for retirement

My Aunt has avoided any retirement accounts such as 401k or IRA, or even just regular savings and investing accounts. She has instead invested in a variety of "collectibles" in hopes that they would increase in value. Well, retirement is looming and it's very unclear how to convert the col...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 21, 2016 1:44 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best place for Eyeglasses with Aetna Advantage Medicare Insurance
Replies: 1
Views: 237

Re: Best place for Eyeglasses with Aetna Advantage Medicare Insurance

Consider Zenni Optical or other online source. So inexpensive you don't need your insurance.
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 20, 2016 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Insane Notice / Counter Offer Situation
Replies: 61
Views: 5882

Re: Insane Notice / Counter Offer Situation

Extravagant counteroffers (double salary, C-level promotion) are only as valuable as the trustworthiness of the promiser. In this case, these guys sound desperate and unethical. Maybe if you get a good employment contract with defined severance so you can hold them to their promises you could consid...
by downshiftme
Fri Jan 08, 2016 1:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need Advice - Child Care
Replies: 23
Views: 1538

Re: Need Advice - Child Care

High quality childcare is worth squeezing for. It sounds like the overlap time with two children in care will be relatively short - although you'll likely need afterschool care once the older child reaches school age. Some people opt for a stay at home parent, especially when there are two or more. ...
by downshiftme
Tue Jan 05, 2016 10:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job Prospects for English Majors?
Replies: 73
Views: 6019

Re: Job Prospects for English Majors?

Best Engineering VP I ever worked for was an English major. He didn't want to teach so he got a programming job just out of school. Didn't like it and wasn't very good at it, but he was good at organizing and presenting the work of other better programmers. That put him in a management track, and th...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 04, 2016 2:10 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to rent hard-to-find DVD's or Blu-Ray's?
Replies: 11
Views: 1212

Re: Where to rent hard-to-find DVD's or Blu-Ray's?

There is also the Scarecrow project, but I don't know how their rental or viewing would work. http://blog.scarecrow.com/about-us-3/ Our focus is to complement those changes in ways only we can by providing access to not only what is available from mainstream sources, but to rare, out-of-print, and f...
by downshiftme
Wed Dec 30, 2015 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Permanent Life Insurance- Northwestern Mutal
Replies: 42
Views: 3095

Re: Permanent Life Insurance- Northwestern Mutal

Almost in all cases permanent life insurance is a good deal for the salesman and a poor deal for the buyer. If you need insurance, then term insurance is certainly better. If you need investments, then INVESTMENTS are certainly better. The figures you have been given appear to be selective and incom...
by downshiftme
Sun Dec 20, 2015 12:43 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Would you use DFA funds, if available?
Replies: 13
Views: 1236

Re: Would you use DFA funds, if available?

I like DFA funds, but I don't like them more than equivalent funds with lower ER.
by downshiftme
Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: dilemma over house division during legal separation
Replies: 98
Views: 10365

Re: dilemma over house division during legal separation

I have had a trusted friend suggest I move out to an apartment for some time and let my family stay in the house Be careful. In many places this establishes HER as the resident of the house and YOU as a resident of the apartment, which will be the starting basis for any divorce agreement. You can e...
by downshiftme
Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can an investment company charge a fee to rollover a 401k?
Replies: 14
Views: 849

Re: Can an investment company charge a fee to rollover a 401k?

Yes, they can charge a fee. Not only that but they can structure the fee so you pay more or less depending on what positions you are terminating. You might find that if you understand the fee structure you can minimize your cost by selling positions and then terminating the resulting money market ac...
by downshiftme
Tue Dec 08, 2015 2:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Creating a will with or without a lawyers help?
Replies: 31
Views: 2254

Re: Creating a will with or without a lawyers help?

100% on the side for having the lawyer do it. The $300 fee is cheap insurance that the format and legal requirements of your state are met. Make sure this includes any witnessing and registration required in your state. With a professionally prepared will, you will not be around to make sure it oper...
by downshiftme
Wed Dec 02, 2015 9:33 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Statistics "R" [Programming language for portfolio analysis]
Replies: 25
Views: 2782

Re: Statistics "R"

Here is a link to a free online course which includes how to install and use some tools, including R.

https://www.coursera.org/course/datascitoolbox
by downshiftme
Wed Dec 02, 2015 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?
Replies: 327
Views: 44284

Re: Vanguard TurboTax - Not Available 2015?

Well, no need to be a Flagship client anymore! The free TT was the only use I had in the Flagship level. I was a previous Tax Act customer, and now they will get me back, though their prices are up this year. I also find this quite frustrating. I switched from my longtime TaxACT use to TT, based on...
by downshiftme
Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparative negligence (car accident)
Replies: 35
Views: 4030

Re: Comparitive negligence (car accident)

so wait....she made a right turn, but swung so far to the left that she left a whole lane free to her right side -- perhaps even into the opposite direction lane? On a narrow street, trying to squeeze a second lane of travel when the lead car drifts over the center is absurdly aggressive driving. T...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does it matter when you claim Social Security?
Replies: 43
Views: 5220

Re: Does it matter when you claim Social Security?

The actuarial neutrality is with respect to lifespan, not with respect to claiming age. The effect you describe (lifespans are slightly longer) might be more obvious with 100% late claimants, but it would still be the same effect as it was before.
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Whole Life. Can someone sum up why its a sucker scam (in as few words as possible)
Replies: 60
Views: 6836

Re: Whole Life. Can someone sum up why its a sucker scam (in as few words as possible)

You have to pay for the insurance part. You have to pay for the (fairly generous) commissions to the agent that sold it. You have to pay for the insurance company profit. What's left gets invested. The investment gains are divided and you get part and the company/agent gets part. Compared to your ow...
by downshiftme
Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online
Replies: 31
Views: 4429

Re: Buying Prescription Eyeglasses Online

With Zenni, I just took a guess and found that the frames fit me well enough. When I buy frames from the fancy optician, they didn't suggest I try any particular size or not, I just picked one that looked good. I suppose you could order a couple $6 pairs in different sizes and then you'd know, but i...
by downshiftme
Fri Nov 06, 2015 8:08 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Should I tell my advisor to take a hike?
Replies: 35
Views: 4050

Re: Should I tell my advisor to take a hike?

Dutch wrote:One quibble: A fee-only adviser doesn't charge a percentage of AUM. So, you have a different type of adviser (a worse kind) Years ago, we called an adviser "fee-only" if they charged an hourly fee (or rarely a flat fee) and no commissions or AUM fee. Advisers have seen all the...
by downshiftme
Tue Nov 03, 2015 11:20 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help Young 23 year old investor with poor 401k fund choices!
Replies: 23
Views: 1854

Re: Help Young 23 year old investor with poor 401k fund choices!

Wow. I wish I had a 401k as good as yours. I'd put 100% in the SP500 index fund at wonderful ER and ignore all the higher fee funds. I can get International and bonds in my IRA. This is an excellent plan for an investor who chooses the just the index and has any money elsewhere.
by downshiftme
Tue Nov 03, 2015 12:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: CD Beneficiary Name Wrong
Replies: 25
Views: 2201

Re: CD Beneficiary Name Wrong

My brother and I just learned our great aunt left us funds in a CD. The problem is that she listed our names wrong. She gave my brother our mother's maiden name and gave me my domestic partners last name, thinking we were married. Provided all sorts of evidence proving identity and reasons why she ...
by downshiftme
Sat Oct 31, 2015 5:12 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help for MIL - 50 Year Marriage Ends In Divorce
Replies: 23
Views: 4665

Re: Help for MIL - 50 Year Marriage Ends In Divorce

As I stated in my original post, my MIL knows nothing about money. She never remembers passwords, account numbers, can't write a check on her own yet, can't figure out how to login to her email alone, It sounds like she needs to live with you until she develops some independence skills or until eve...

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