Search found 1011 matches

by downshiftme
Sat Aug 18, 2018 1:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?
Replies: 76
Views: 3573

Re: physics/math major looking for programmer/analyst job?

Many people mean well to suggest IT or programming to young people with math/physics backgrounds, but these are very different disciplines and while some math people do enjoy IT or programming or software engineering or data science or project/program management or any of the dozens of other related...
by downshiftme
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Costco penny install sale & road hazard terms
Replies: 31
Views: 2607

Re: Costco penny install sale & road hazard terms

A few months after putting 4 new Costco tires on my car, I hit a road hazard and damaged the sidewall of one. The road hazard warranty is prorated by miles, but a few months were not enough to bother with that, so they replaced the tire for free. The exact model was no longer sold, so they substitut...
by downshiftme
Fri Aug 17, 2018 5:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?
Replies: 29
Views: 1334

Re: What to do in Seattle around Christmas?

Depending on when you are in Seattle: The 32nd Annual Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Competition Friday, December 7, 2018 Downtown Seattle/Westlake Center 6:00pm – 8:30pm A holiday music event at Pine and 4th (Westlake Center) attracts nearly 10,000 people every year to enjoy free holiday music. The W...
by downshiftme
Fri Aug 10, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: First time taking kids to airport..
Replies: 28
Views: 2267

Re: First time taking kids to airport..

Sitting in one place for hours with little to do and no good way to wiggle can be very hard on kids at this age. I usually did well with lots of kid friends snacks and a few small surprises and activities that they would like. It worked best to only reveal one at a time and not to let on that there ...
by downshiftme
Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:29 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: "Dollar Tree Store" favorites
Replies: 84
Views: 6466

Re: "Dollar Store" favorites

Party supplies, especially for kids parties. Reading glasses. Sunglasses. Never bothered if they get lost. Small kitchen utensils.
by downshiftme
Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:36 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Medical records breach
Replies: 21
Views: 1966

Re: Medical records breach

> Lately however,I have been getting a recorded call that says "they" have received a notice that I have chronic back pain and may be eligible for a brace that insurance will pay for. In the last few weeks I have been receiving similar calls about my chronic back pain, but I have NEVER consulted a d...
by downshiftme
Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:43 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Stock Options - Company Being Acquired
Replies: 7
Views: 716

Re: Stock Options - Company Being Acquired

Have you exercised at least some options? We went through an acquisition by a larger public company, and shareholders in the acquired company got much better communication and a chance to approve (or at least comment on) the planned payout - a schedule stretching out some years. Option holders were ...
by downshiftme
Fri Jul 20, 2018 9:14 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Understanding Restricted Stock Units (RSU)
Replies: 12
Views: 1104

Re: Understanding Restricted Stock Units (RSU)

What happens with RSU in an not-yet-public company. There doesn't seem to be any way to sell shares to cover taxes. How does that work?
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:18 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Am I getting the run around?
Replies: 24
Views: 4236

Re: Am I getting the run around?

It probably depends a lot on the specific terms of your 401k plan. We have a "brokerage window" in ours that effectively allow you to invest in almost any kind of security if you do not like the options in the 401k plan. There is a quarterly charge to use this option, plus the account must be set up...
by downshiftme
Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing exit from megacorp
Replies: 54
Views: 5992

Re: Timing exit from megacorp

After this date, the manager can't screw with you. Some places this may be so, but I have seen several counterexamples. Once where the direct manager still wanted to give the approved and budgeted bonus which was given in recognition of meeting a huge project deadline, but the bonus was rescinded a...
by downshiftme
Thu Jun 28, 2018 5:46 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?
Replies: 102
Views: 10024

Re: how often does high ACT score == scholarship?

With some "need" the high ACT score may result in some scholarship to some schools. Most highly desirable private schools will only award scholarship based on need and not on merit. Without "need" a purely merit scholarship will highly depend on the school. A friend's child with 36 ACT and nearly 4....
by downshiftme
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:59 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Vanguard is really pushing their Personal Adviser Service
Replies: 65
Views: 6416

Re: Vanguard is really pushing their Personal Adviser Service

yeah i just got an email from Vanguard on this . Yes, I've got this email. And postal mail. And a lot more email. And a lot more postal mail. They are really pushing to keep this idea in front of me. Maybe because of my age or the age of my account, they suspect I'll want help soon? It's annoying, ...
by downshiftme
Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sister-in-Law - trouble adulting - Pay medical bill?
Replies: 41
Views: 3643

Re: Sister-in-Law - trouble adulting - Pay medical bill?

Quitting without a new job lined up might be appropriate if the boss was truly terrible. It certainly isn't appropriate if she was just bored at this job. It also indicates that she has no concept of needing to be self reliant. She doesn't have enough savings to cover a $300 bill and has dawdled abo...
by downshiftme
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:47 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Water leak when it rains - older Camry
Replies: 25
Views: 1478

Re: Water leak when it rains - older Camry

I had a truck that leaked when it rained - usually a day or two later. The leak appeared where the windshield seal met the roofline, but this turned out to be deceptive. The actual leak was water entering a space in the roof from the rear window seal, then percolating up there for a day or two until...
by downshiftme
Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?
Replies: 55
Views: 6751

Re: Career Burn Out: Should I quit high paying job and take a sabbatical?

Does your employer have an employee assistance program, where you can discuss your issues in a anonymous way? In my experience, these supposedly anonymous programs can leak information back to the employer HR dept. Mine did. I would NOT trust any employer sponsored program that claims to be anonymo...
by downshiftme
Sat Jun 09, 2018 8:48 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Bogleheads' College Philosophy question
Replies: 68
Views: 3894

Re: Bogleheads' College Philosophy question

I'm leery of the false dichotomy. In most cases, you don't have to choose exclusively between retirement or college, you just have to make relative choices that work for you. Working a little longer or accepting a slightly less flush retirement might enable you to do more for kids' college. You have...
by downshiftme
Thu Jun 07, 2018 1:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Severance Package Question
Replies: 60
Views: 5986

Re: Severance Package Question

wait a minute....you can negotiate your severance pay? That's news to me.
I'm not sure there is much leverage available when negotiating severance. What can you do, continue to come to work and refuse to be laid off?
by downshiftme
Tue Jun 05, 2018 9:15 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Severance Package Question
Replies: 60
Views: 5986

Re: Severance Package Question

I think severance packages vary depending on circumstances of the layoff, level of the job, and norms in the field. In my field (tech) a common formula used to be 2 weeks salary for every year of service, up to some maximum like 26 weeks. Recently, this has migrated down to 1 week per year of servic...
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: 2469

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: 2293

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: 2222

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: 26
Views: 2186

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: 5530

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: 3930

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: 2221

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: 10394

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: 6136

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: 3947

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: 8868

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: 2516

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: 1462

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: 2658

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: 11251

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: 2658

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: 4062

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: 3820

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: 41631

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: 1196

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: 6976

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: 6254

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: 6149

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: 10874

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: 1580

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: 1734

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: 1197

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: 5439

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: 3299

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: 6021

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: 25839

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: 3235

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.