Search found 993 matches

by downshiftme
Wed May 16, 2018 1:20 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Why this problem never gets fixed [Inflated medical product prices]
Replies: 33
Views: 2185

Re: Why this problem never gets fixed

You've hit upon the reason for HSAs and their being coupled with high deductible insurance policies...so consumers of healthcare will be motivated to be more aware of and sensitive to prices charged for their medical care. Maybe this is sort of a first step, but I can tell you that it isn't working...
by downshiftme
Sat May 12, 2018 7:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Teen drivers and divorce
Replies: 15
Views: 2171

Re: Teen drivers and divorce

leaving daughter #2 on mom's policy with dad's car. I would want to double and triple check that the kid drivers are actually insured. For my kids, the policy owner had to also own the car. The kids can own the car and have their own policy. I've never heard of a policy covering a driver where neit...
by downshiftme
Wed May 09, 2018 7:35 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Bad(?) advice from employer retirement advisor [on per-year contribution limits]
Replies: 29
Views: 1999

Re: Bad(?) advice from employer retirement advisor [on per-year contribution limits]

He give lots of advice to shirk tax-advantaged accounts in favor of taxable accounts through his agency-- that raised some concerns for me from the get-go. I've had an "adviser" who was employed by the insurance company that provides our 401k advise people NOT to contribute to the 401k, but to inve...
by downshiftme
Wed May 09, 2018 12:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Lost Beneficiaries - T. Rowe Price
Replies: 24
Views: 1640

Re: Lost Beneficiaries - T. Rowe Price

Note to self: add copies of relevant beneficiary forms for all accounts to my "going away" file to make life easier for heirs. It's a shame your dad was so careful to set up beneficiaries but an error in account transfer between custodians is undoing his careful preparations. For what it's worth, ev...
by downshiftme
Fri May 04, 2018 12:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?
Replies: 83
Views: 4907

Re: How old is too old for a vehicle, even for a well running one ?

I kept my old car for 18 years, and paid for many repairs as needed, including some costly engine repairs and dealt with some unreliable years. I figured these were all worth it as I got additional years of service from the vehicle. On the other hand, at the very first sign of some possible frame is...
by downshiftme
Wed May 02, 2018 6:03 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Not Wasting Food
Replies: 60
Views: 3498

Re: Not Wasting Food

I have to pick and choose my battles. I'd rather waste 20% of the fresh groceries that I buy than rely on frozen prepared foods or eating out to avoid wastage. If having a little more waste is part of the price for eating a healthy diet with more fresh fruits and vegetables, then that is a price I a...
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical alert "button"
Replies: 34
Views: 1968

Re: Medical alert "button"

Some of these devices work with a base station that needs to be in range to activate and to respond to the assistance operator. Others have speakers/microphone on the pendant itself. Some can work with cell phones (coverage in the yard or away from home) and others only work in the immediate vicinit...
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Inheritance Changing Lifestyle
Replies: 79
Views: 9602

Re: Inheritance Changing Lifestyle

If you have a lifestyle you like and can comfortably afford, be careful and slow about how you consider ratcheting up spending. Especially with kids still becoming independent you want to do as much as you can to reinforce good self-reliant habits as they transition to independent adults. Also, stea...
by downshiftme
Sat Apr 21, 2018 8:40 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Settlement Offer -- Accept or Wait?
Replies: 66
Views: 5496

Re: Settlement Offer -- Accept or Wait?

I took a brief ambulance ride to the local ER Ambulance costs vary a lot by locality, but here a routine short trip to the ER can cost $3500-$4000. It's higher if they administer anything on the way or if they have to travel far. Ambulances can be very slow to bill and you may not see a statement f...
by downshiftme
Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:03 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Good Dad, Bad Dad [pay for son's driving expenses (or not)]
Replies: 49
Views: 3617

Re: Good Dad, Bad Dad

Less car and more study time is probably a better approach for a possibly under-motivated student away for a first year of college. It's a big adjustment and academics and dorm life are both going to be big changes. Even a year of college credit from high school or community college classes is NOT t...
by downshiftme
Thu Apr 19, 2018 4:25 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: “The Smell of Retiree Mon$y...”
Replies: 57
Views: 8356

Re: “The Smell of Retiree Mon$y...”

Many years ago, I started a personal rule to only donate anonymously. It doesn't stop the organizations I donate to from soliciting again, since in most cases they do know the money came from me, but keeping my name off of donor lists and thank you acknowledgements has considerably reduced the numbe...
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:50 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Angel investor breakfast
Replies: 19
Views: 2383

Re: Angel investor breakfast

I also have a friend who was an active angel investor. Luckily he had plenty of money, so didn't need his angel investments to pay off. And they didn't. As a small time player in the angel investment space, deals that were offered to him had already been rejected by the bigger fish. That made them r...
by downshiftme
Sun Apr 15, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Gifts to grandkids of different ages
Replies: 13
Views: 1368

Re: Gifts to grandkids of different ages

While I sympathize with concerns about giving 30k outright to a college junior (probably 19 or 20 years old), you should also expect at least some reasonable level of maturity. If that is not the case, then maybe your concerns are warranted. But if the young adult in question is not irresponsible, y...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:16 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?
Replies: 35
Views: 2412

Re: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?

Being 55 also doesn't mean that random co-workers should be approaching to say "Gee, you're old. When do you plan to retire so my wife can take this job?"
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:26 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young
Replies: 111
Views: 10396

Re: Mid-40s in tech - how to pass off as acceptably young

Role: I have a business role in the tech sector. I do a little scripting with a statistics tool when Excel is too cumbersome. But I am not a practicing coder. I do as much powerpoint as excel. This is really not a tech role at all. At best this is an analyst role of some sort. Your best angle is pr...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?
Replies: 35
Views: 2412

Re: Appropriate to ask co-worker when retiring?

It allows us to plan Not likely. It allows you to plan if you get an honest and correct answer. Most people like to keep their retirement plans private and if there is any risk you might pass on the info, you are very likely to get a politically correct answer, such as I intend to work here for man...
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Unaffordable prescription drug
Replies: 42
Views: 3685

Re: Unaffordable prescription drug

I found goodrx.com was able to point me to alternative sources for lower cost prescriptions. Depends on the specific drug how successful they are.
by downshiftme
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:54 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Employee IPO windfall - mid 7 figures
Replies: 30
Views: 3596

Re: Employee IPO windfall - mid 7 figures

Wealth management companies and Financial "advisers" read IPO news. Brace for a flurry of incoming sales calls.
by downshiftme
Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:24 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fisher Investments hard sell
Replies: 40
Views: 38720

Re: Fisher Investments hard sell

I have some experience that may be relevant to some. I have a very good friend that had done his research and decided the liked the market analysis that Fisher employed and decided (recently) to move some of their portfolio over. .... lots more positive review from this one-time poster My experienc...
by downshiftme
Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:37 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Account for benefit of a relative; doling out funds
Replies: 16
Views: 1076

Re: Account for benefit of a relative; doling out funds

On of the impressions I took away from the "Beyond the Grave" book very heavily recommended here, is that in an arrangement where a responsible relative is put in position as gatekeeper to an irresponsible relative, the irresponsible relative may see the gatekeeper as standing between them and their...
by downshiftme
Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments
Replies: 84
Views: 6299

Re: Structuring Newlywed Finances for Fairness and Less Arguments

I am a big fan of the one-big-pot methods of finances for married couples. All income from either spouse goes into a common pot and mutual agreement (a budget) determines where it gets spent. For practical purposes (small gifts, favorite personal care product, occasional lunch not otherwise budgeted...
by downshiftme
Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 3 layers of roof. Pull my offer??
Replies: 63
Views: 5959

Re: 3 layers of roof. Pull my offer??

I bought my current house with 3 layers of shingles. The bank refused to finance it until the roof was replaced, as 3 layers wasn't up to local code. We split the cost with the previous owners, since any buyer would likely have the same issue.
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Multiple Offer situation/should we pull our offer?
Replies: 72
Views: 5799

Re: Multiple Offer situation/should we pull our offer?

We didn’t get the house. Our offer was “blown away”. If you believe that your offer was fair, then you have not "lost" the house. Just because someone else is willing to overpay doesn't mean you should too. What you "lost" was the opportunity to overpay for a house that would take years to recover ...
by downshiftme
Wed Feb 21, 2018 8:04 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]
Replies: 157
Views: 10062

Re: Do you wear a wedding band? [at a job interview]

You aren't supposed to use marital status in hiring decisions. Daft....Refer to my quote: It isn't what you know, or even what you think; it is what you can prove. I do not understand this response. Marital status is explicitly subject to EEOC in most states and most jobs. A hiring process that pre...
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: undergrad major shortlist process
Replies: 20
Views: 1462

Re: undergrad major shortlist process

I don't understand how any of this can make any sense without a better understanding of the student's interests. Further, it makes no sense why someone other than the student is making these kinds of choices. Lastly, another poster pointed out that a major function of college is to expose a student ...
by downshiftme
Tue Jan 30, 2018 3:08 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Has anyone negotiated a medical bill to see a specialist?
Replies: 19
Views: 1641

Re: Has anyone negotiated a medical bill to see a specialist?

I have seen a number of specialists over the years, but one in particular for a rare and perplexing issue is well known as the best in his specialty locally. It never occurred to me to try to haggle about the fee when I was so happy to be able to consult with him. He spent a huge amount of time with...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wills - Should guardian also be the executor of the estate?
Replies: 15
Views: 1079

Re: Wills - Should guardian also be the executor of the estate?

My estate attorney strongly suggested that guardian and trustee be separate people for check and balance. He suggested this also offered greater protection against willful abuse, since they would each know the other will be aware of any shenanigans. I ignored this advice and made the children's guar...
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 29, 2018 1:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Still working out of greed or fear?
Replies: 46
Views: 5095

Re: Still working out of greed or fear?

Fear. Mostly fear of problems obtaining medical insurance before Medicare age. I hoped ACA was going to solve that problem, but so much politics now puts the reliability of affordable coverage in doubt. Just the right kind of uncovered medical expense is a small probability event, but it would be de...
by downshiftme
Sun Jan 28, 2018 5:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to choose a college
Replies: 67
Views: 2868

Re: How to choose a college

It's a very rare high school student who has much of an idea of what they want to do professionally for the rest of their life. Indeed, even among those who think they know, they have a high probability of discovering the field isn't what they think it is or the life of a professional in that field ...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 25, 2018 6:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home
Replies: 55
Views: 5631

Re: Exterminator Accidently Sprayed our Home

I would be more concerned that an employee who saw he was at the wrong address and sprayed anyway, might make other mistakes such as wrong concentration of chemicals or perhaps not spraying what he said he was spraying. I would try to take it up with the pest company to get reassurance that other mi...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:13 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: 401k millionaires
Replies: 158
Views: 24510

Re: 401k millionaires

Fidelity Investments report cited by the New York Times found that the typical "401(k) millionaire" was an American with a six-figure income — $287,700 for women and $354,600 for men. It would not be surprising if there is strong correlation to longevity at the same company to reach such a large 40...
by downshiftme
Tue Jan 23, 2018 11:47 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Losing job soon but have big nest egg -- problem?
Replies: 20
Views: 3092

Re: Losing job soon but have big nest egg -- problem?

Your kids are a great age for stay at home dad, or maybe you both retire and have the best family life ever. If you have expenses in line with your excellent assets, work may be optional. Lots of volunteer opportunities if you decide you need to "do" something. Time is valuable. Make the most of it.
by downshiftme
Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?
Replies: 22
Views: 1841

Re: return expensive 3 year old's eye glasses?

If you really believe that the fit from the optics shop is poor, then by all means bring them back to try to get a correct fit. I don't think you are entitled to a refund because you were unaware of the wide range of prices for prescription glasses. For my kids, I am a big fan of Zenni glasses. I ne...
by downshiftme
Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:41 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Short Commute or Nicer House?
Replies: 142
Views: 8452

Re: Short Commute or Nicer House?

Having done both, I'd choose whichever has better school options for the kids. If they really are about a toss-up, then I'll always choose the shorter commute. A longer commute takes so much time, plus a longer commute is more susceptible to occasionally being an extra-long commute in bad weather or...
by downshiftme
Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique
Replies: 146
Views: 14491

Re: Can We Retire in Hawaii? Please Critique

Doug Nordman (early military retiree living in Hawaii) writes a blog about military retirement issues, and has some good information about early retirement in Hawaii.

https://the-military-guide.com/lifestyl ... -vacation/
by downshiftme
Mon Jan 15, 2018 6:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: PTO policy after international business travel
Replies: 53
Views: 3485

Re: PTO policy after international business travel

I travel internationally several times a year including to India. It has never occurred to me to ask for five days PTO following each trip, probably because my boss would laugh me out of his office. I don't know what kind of employer you work for, but anything more than arriving the day before to a...
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did I need a lawyer after an accident?
Replies: 29
Views: 2801

Re: Did I need a lawyer after an accident?

I imagine this varies by state. In California, my medical insurance would not pay anything until the liability of the other party had been resolved. If there had been no other party, medical insurance would cover me, but since there was a possibility of a settlement or liability claim against the ot...
by downshiftme
Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:02 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Computers Suck
Replies: 18
Views: 1573

Re: Computers Suck

You can't teach an old dog new tricks and if you didn't grow up with computers it's much harder to learn. That may be true for some people, but clearly not for OP and many of the people responding to this thread. Even very knowledgeable users are faced with doing something that is supposed to work,...
by downshiftme
Fri Jan 05, 2018 2:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ID theft and check cashing fraud
Replies: 97
Views: 6723

Re: ID theft and check cashing fraud

After an identity theft attempt last year, the bank closed ALL accounts, even those unaffected, and opened all new accounts with all new account numbers. It was a small hassle, but prevented any future use of the old accounts in later schemes.
by downshiftme
Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:06 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: HELOC to close or not to close
Replies: 5
Views: 546

Re: HELOC to close or not to close

Closing an unused HELOC at some future date when you want to do something with the property will be easy, simple and quick. In the meantime, I keep mine open in case I need to use it for something I can't imagine. No fee, so no problem to keep it. If it were costing me actual money, I might reconsid...
by downshiftme
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:15 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: One rollover per 12 months or calendar year per IRS rules?
Replies: 8
Views: 536

Re: One rollover per 12 months or calendar year per IRS rules?

Beginning after January 1, 2015, you can make only one rollover from an IRA to another (or the same) IRA in any 12-month period, regardless of the number of IRAs you own. The one-per year limit does not apply to: rollovers from traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs (conversions) trustee-to-trustee transfer...
by downshiftme
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:58 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How best to invest Inherited IRA with 5 year planned draw period?
Replies: 13
Views: 782

Re: How best to invest Inherited IRA with 5 year planned draw period?

Is there a reason you cannot invest it in whatever you want? The five year drawdown only means that you have to remove the money from the account, not that you have to spend it all. You can just as easily reinvest it in whatever you had it in, but outside of the IRA.
by downshiftme
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: ? about work bonuses.
Replies: 6
Views: 821

Re: ? about work bonuses.

Bonus seems like a business expense, similar to payroll for example. If the bonus is based on profitability, then it makes sense that payroll expenses including the bonus be subtracted before figuring profitability.
by downshiftme
Mon Dec 11, 2017 4:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 33 years old, 13 years IT experience, currently make 63k a year. I need advice to start making more money
Replies: 76
Views: 7299

Re: 33 years old, 13 years IT experience, currently make 63k a year. I need advice to start making more money

Yes I have. I have tried to apply for city/state/government jobs online multiple times and never get a callback. This may mean that you are applying for jobs that are not as good a fit as you thought they were, or it may mean that there is something in your resume, presentation or application that ...
by downshiftme
Sat Dec 09, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance
Replies: 104
Views: 6753

Re: Does this happen to you? Educating friends about personal finance

If I am not asked for my advice, I do not offer advice. I have only seen unsolicited advice turn out badly for the relationship. If I am asked for advice, I will freely give the best advice I can, but I will not be surprised if none of it is ever acted upon. In my experience, most people asking for ...
by downshiftme
Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:59 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to convince DW that high miles used car is OK
Replies: 106
Views: 7523

Re: How to convince DW that high miles used car is OK

The frequency of stranding does rise with age. This has been my experience with each of my personal cars. Also, the incidents of potentially dangerous equipment failures rises with age and mileage. You have to decide for yourself how much age/mileage (risk) you are willing to accept and budget acco...
by downshiftme
Thu Nov 30, 2017 11:18 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]
Replies: 549
Views: 61014

Re: Fellow TDA bogleheads [TDA dropping Vanguard ETFs from commission-free list]

I was unaware of this change to Vanguard ETFs charging commissions in a TDA account. Yesterday I did sell a Vanguard ETF position and was charged a trading fee. Maybe it's time to move the account to Vanguard and avoid this kind of surprise.
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 29, 2017 4:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Why should I donate to my alma mater?
Replies: 133
Views: 10383

Re: Why should I donate to my alma matter?

As someone who (and whose family) paid full fare, I feel absolutely no obligation. If you do, donate. If you don't, don't. I have occasionally donated, but only in token amounts. My alma mater has billions, and my donations do little to change that. My personal experience on campus was not as good ...
by downshiftme
Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Job negotiation strategies
Replies: 6
Views: 986

Re: Job negotiation strategies

I never understood this fascination with never being the first one to name a number. I know perfectly well what I was making, what I want to make, and almost always what the salary range is for a position I am applying to. The issue with anchoring to the first named number is not a concern when I ge...
by downshiftme
Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of 401k Employer Match vs. Salary Equivalent
Replies: 34
Views: 3883

Re: Value of 401k Employer Match vs. Salary Equivalent

I suppose it's possible to have a company where seniority is not correlated with salary, but I have not seen it. In my experience, the longest serving employees were usually senior management, or at least group and department heads. Among non-managers, longevity was correlated with salary step syste...