Search found 971 matches

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: 5326

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: 9138

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: 1384

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: 1520

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: 1020

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: 4939

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: 2686

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: 5469

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: 23693

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: 2960

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: 1726

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: 7696

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: 13558

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: 3222

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: 2680

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: 1454

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: 6004

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: 492

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: 504

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: 697

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: 786

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: 6873

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: 6359

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: 7194

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: 57820

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: 9958

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: 937

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: 3628

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...
by downshiftme
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Benefits of Flagship
Replies: 38
Views: 6542

Re: Benefits of Flagship

Unless I missed it, nobody has mentioned Free TurboTax software for Flagship clients.

I thought this was discontinued last year. Is there some specific thing I have to do to continue to get this deal?
by downshiftme
Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of 401k Employer Match vs. Salary Equivalent
Replies: 34
Views: 3628

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

Rules relating to traditional 401(k) plans require that contributions made under the plan meet specific nondiscrimination requirements. In order to ensure that the plan satisfies these requirements, the employer must perform annual tests, known as the Actual Deferral Percentage (ADP) and Actual Con...
by downshiftme
Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Value of 401k Employer Match vs. Salary Equivalent
Replies: 34
Views: 3628

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

My current employer offers a certain percentage match (that increases gradually with respect to years of service Do you mean there is a vesting schedule? A certain percentage vests after 1 year, more after 2 years, etc. Vesting schedules are common in 401k plans. Changing matching percentages based...
by downshiftme
Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?
Replies: 42
Views: 4928

Re: What is the difference between retiring and resigning from a job?

Some companies have stock options or other incentive programs that immediately terminate if you resign, but in some cases continue to operate if you retire. Your vesting may cease, but the period during which you are allowed to exercise may be different. Some terminate immediately on resignation. Yo...
by downshiftme
Mon Oct 23, 2017 6:29 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping college costs of grandchildren
Replies: 37
Views: 2607

Re: Helping college costs of grandchildren

Why should currently childfree kids be punished because they have not chosen to procreate? I have no intention to "punish" childfree kids, but I have every intention to take care of grandkids. Probably generously. Even better, great-grandkids if I should be so lucky. My desire to take care of grand...
by downshiftme
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income
Replies: 31
Views: 6352

Re: Letter from CC company (Discover) re: current income

Financial institutions are supposed to "know their customers" so they have been increasing efforts to get info like this. However there is no rule that you have to respond nor that they have to actually have this info on file to continue to do business with you. I routinely ignore such requests. If ...
by downshiftme
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Helping college costs of grandchildren
Replies: 37
Views: 2607

Re: Helping college costs of grandchildren

In my family, college costs are NOT part of any expectation of equal financial largess. Grandchildren who need assistance are freely helped. Grandchildren who can pay their own way, or whose parents can, get less or no assistance. The idea is to provide an appropriate education to each grandchild, n...
by downshiftme
Sun Oct 22, 2017 1:25 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: 2 in Daycare -Sell Taxable to Max 401k?
Replies: 46
Views: 3115

Re: 2 in Daycare -Sell Taxable to Max 401k?

Consider the two alternatives. You are certainly incurring daycare costs, so if you reduce 401k to pay for it, you end up with slightly less in 401k and slightly more in taxable. Alternatively, if you spend some taxable (incurring some selling costs) you end up with slightly more in 401k and slightl...
by downshiftme
Sat Oct 21, 2017 4:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?
Replies: 107
Views: 7771

Re: How does/can Walmart offer such inexpensive prescriptions?

Without getting into the medical weeds, while there are several "generic" versions, it is important to stay on the same "generic", if possible, and if the generic "version" changes, it is advised to have the Physician retest your levels, etc. I have decided to pay the $20/month I have not used Walm...
by downshiftme
Wed Oct 04, 2017 1:35 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Fender bender -- other driver at fault -- what to do?
Replies: 28
Views: 1990

Re: Fender bender -- other driver at fault -- what to do?

In my experience (sample size of only one) people who hit parked cars causing visible damage, then drive away leaving no contact info are hoping to get away with it. When they are caught and identified as the offending party, they may make up any story in hopes of getting off the hook and can be ver...
by downshiftme
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?
Replies: 58
Views: 6846

Re: Is it a waste of money having your furnace checked every year?

I used to have my older gas furnace cleaned every year, as recommended. Every year, a few weeks after servicing, there would be a problem requiring additional parts and repairs as soon as the heating season started. After the last time this happened, I had a different furnace company do the repair a...
by downshiftme
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:23 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Who has needed to use their umbrella insurance?
Replies: 129
Views: 17948

Re: Who has needed to use their umbrella insurance?

I have used mine, but only indirectly. A scammer hit my parked car in a public place, then claimed I hit him and caused a neck (like whiplash) injury. The amount claimed was within my Auto insurance limits, but because I also had umbrella, the insurance company sent a top team of lawyers to defend t...
by downshiftme
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Payroll shenanigans and their implications
Replies: 48
Views: 3867

Re: Payroll shenanigans and their implications

If you have paychecks that show withholdings, you can reasonably rely on those and assume that FICA and income tax withholdings show have actually been made. If not, the employer will be responsible, although you may be in for a protracted legal dispute before you are held harmless. Keep your record...
by downshiftme
Tue Oct 03, 2017 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 10698

Re: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]

Completely terrifying stories of seniors declared incompetent against their will and taken advantage of by "professional" guardians. In many cases it appears the guardians selected their victims based on available assets and used the flimsiest of excuses and complicit physicians, courts and retireme...
by downshiftme
Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping question....Applebees
Replies: 87
Views: 7467

Re: Tipping question....Applebees

My wife and I went to a pizza place for dinner last weekend. We ordered a small pizza to split. They brought out complimentary rolls and olive oil for dipping. We drink water with our meals. We had a nice meal, nice ambiance, and a chance to talk without distraction for an hour. Our bill was $11.99...
by downshiftme
Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?
Replies: 102
Views: 5337

Re: Online Bill Pay Security: Push or Pull?

I'm 100% 'push' from my bank checking account because I don't want anyone 'pulling' money out of it without me authorizing the specific transaction and amount. I only do PUSH as well. If something goes wrong, a bill may not get credited in time or I may owe an outstanding balance. These are minor i...
by downshiftme
Mon Sep 18, 2017 1:27 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]
Replies: 68
Views: 6598

Re: What is FI if you love your job? [Financial Independence]

You may love your job and your colleagues now, and can't imagine ever being happier doing anything else. I hope that continues for you for as long as you continue to work. But things happen, not all of which are within your control. What may look like an ideal situation now could evolve, through no...
by downshiftme
Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice on Parents' Financial Situation
Replies: 11
Views: 1616

Re: Advice on Parents' Financial Situation

For about the first 10 years, it was doing fairly well. They were never going to get rich on it, but enough for a modest middle class living. Things turned during and following 2008. Since then the business has just provided enough income for them to break even at best. In recent years the income f...
by downshiftme
Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax Customer Information Leak – Link Problem
Replies: 5
Views: 1345

Re: Equifax Customer Information Leak – Link Problem

It is generally considered bad security practice to ask customers to log in to a new website instead of the core business website. These kinds of arrangements are too easy to phish and too similar to identity theft scams, so desensitizing users by requiring the bad practice is generally considered a...
by downshiftme
Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:11 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Possible change to 401(k) taxation
Replies: 6
Views: 897

Re: Possible change to 401(k) taxation

This has been proposed several times. It's not actionable and since the current versions of the proposals have not been fully described, there is no definitive answer to how existing accounts would be treated, or even if this will become real at all. Nothing to do yet, except try to ignore the anxie...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to give resignation notice
Replies: 64
Views: 7220

Re: When to give resignation notice

It's still a problem, but this is not a bad problem to have. While I suggest being very cautious about giving notice before a vesting event or bonus is triggered, in your case I would be even more careful not to lose the 2x salary increase and generous new vacation benefits. Given a choice between r...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: When to give resignation notice
Replies: 64
Views: 7220

Re: When to give resignation notice

I have seen this play out too many times. Some employers will allow you to work to the end of your notice period and if you become vested during that time you will get the vested benefit. But many (perhaps most) will arrange affairs to prevent a vesting event from happening for someone they know is ...