Search found 953 matches

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: 459

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: 630

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: 718

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: 6497

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: 5913

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: 6702

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: 484
Views: 45297

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: 9416

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: 861

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: 3351

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: 6335

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: 3351

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: 3351

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: 4527

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: 2493

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: 6199

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: 2493

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: 2948

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: 7390

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: 1837

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: 6470

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: 17314

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: 3708

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: 10016

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: 7130

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: 4997

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: 6012

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: 1562

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: 1238

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: 861

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: 6885

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: 6885

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 ...
by downshiftme
Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What it means to be acquired by a holding company?
Replies: 6
Views: 1017

Re: What it means to be acquired by a holding company?

It's possible the holding company is buying the whole company, in which case they will buy your stock too. More likely, this deal is structured like another round of financing where the holding company injects some capital for partial ownership, your shares stay as they are, and the company is manag...
by downshiftme
Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Signed (before death) change of IRA beneficiary forms?
Replies: 3
Views: 447

Re: Signed (before death) change of IRA beneficiary forms?

Beneficiary forms do not need to be witnessed, but they do need to be submitted, Having forms that were never sent in will have no effect.
by downshiftme
Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?
Replies: 62
Views: 4415

Re: Desperate to get rid of mosquitoes, what else could we try?

Got a Mosquito Magnet (Patriot Plus) and we are running it all the time, on the border between us and the neighbor. Mosquito Magnets, like attractive bug zappers, attract the bugs they intend to kill. Could yours be attracting bugs from other neighbor's yards to cross your yard to the magnet? Maybe...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:22 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Experience finding gas pump card skimmer?
Replies: 46
Views: 4524

Re: Experience finding gas pump card skimmer?

A few months ago, I noticed the convenience store chain where I buy my gasoline installed tamper-proof seals on their pumps...the type that break if the pump is opened up. My local gas station has similar tamper evident tape covering the door seals that open the inner workings on the credit card te...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 23, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?
Replies: 64
Views: 5279

Re: Eclipse Traffic: predictions vs reality?

Driving into the zone of totality the day before, and morning of, the eclipse was no problem and the predicted traffic jams did not materialize. Driving out of the eclipse area after the eclipse was a nightmare and all the traffic problems were as bad or worse than predicted. Using a GPS, there were...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: bitcoin makes you rich
Replies: 49
Views: 4691

Re: bitcoin makes you rich

Keep in mind that there are also notable thefts and problems with exchanges that can wipe out an entire holding. Not to mention the possibility that you lose your data and all of your bitcoins, like the guy who lost his bitcoins in a landfill. 100% loss for these types of events. https://bitcointalk...
by downshiftme
Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:41 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?
Replies: 70
Views: 6586

Re: Where to buy glasses for eclipse viewing ?

American Astronomical Society has an extensive list of reputable suppliers, including some who are sold out. https://eclipse.aas.org/resources/solar-filters For several months it has been common for some suppliers to only sell in packs of 10 or more. If you have friends who bought a supply before th...
by downshiftme
Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:54 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Wanting to learn how to play Bridge
Replies: 15
Views: 1609

Re: Wanting to learn how to play Bridge

Finding a local bridge club is a good start. They will usually have classes, sometimes lists of private teachers, and regular duplicate games to play in. Many senior centers or community clubs also have a duplicate game a week. Try different venues and sample the level of play to find what's comfort...
by downshiftme
Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:33 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: kids think lazy if retire?
Replies: 70
Views: 8554

Re: kids think lazy if retire?

You get to retire (or take a break) because you worked hard and were responsible with money. That's a pretty positive message. Also, teenagers will roll their eyes, but it's your last meaningful chance to spend good blocks of quality time with them. They won't always want you around, but sometimes t...
by downshiftme
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Need help progressing in life after a massive setback
Replies: 35
Views: 6850

Re: Need help progressing in life after a massive setback

Compound a bunch of those nights, eventually leading to basically no sleep for 3 days in a row with a high paying but very stressful job and something just finally snapped. Once I got back on a regular sleeping/eating/life schedule that 98% of the rest of the world adheres to life came back into fo...
by downshiftme
Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:34 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: FAFSA: if known result, why complete?
Replies: 44
Views: 3004

Re: FAFSA: if known result, why complete?

I see no reason to fill out FAFSA if you know you will not get any need based aid. Some well meaning school officials strongly suggest that everyone fill out FAFSA on the assumption that some people are not as well off as they think they are and might qualify for some assistance, especially if there...
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:00 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: State Farm vs Penn National- auto, renters, umbrella?
Replies: 58
Views: 6330

Re: Why does State Farm have poor reviews?

My parents have been happy State Farm customers for over 50 years and through several out of state moves. They highly recommended them. When I tried to get insurance I was unable to find a State Farm agent that seemed interested in my business, so I went with another company and have been happy with...
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Pay yourself first.
Replies: 43
Views: 4278

Re: Pay yourself first.

I live a fairly simple and low-cost lifestyle. It goes like this: 1. I set my contribution rate to the 401(k) to 30% (max allowed by the plan). 2. Contribute to my Roth IRA. 3. Spend what I spend. 4. Anything left goes in taxable investing. I have always understood the adage "Pay yourself first" to...
by downshiftme
Mon Jul 24, 2017 1:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Medicaid Article
Replies: 16
Views: 2722

Re: NYT Medicaid Article

The only exceptions ("better" care) here are those skilled nursing beds that are a part of a CCRC. I find it hard to believe that all nursing homes and long term care facilities in your location deliver the same care. That's like suggesting that all restaurants deliver the same services (menu and o...
by downshiftme
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: NYT Medicaid Article
Replies: 16
Views: 2722

Re: NYT Medicaid Article

get into the best facility you can find, spend down your income and assets over, say, ten years, and when you naturally qualify for Medicaid hope that they'll keep you. Usually, it's the exact same care as an insured patient would receive. In my experience, there is a large difference between the b...
by downshiftme
Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Family Tents
Replies: 10
Views: 1129

Re: Family Tents

Had very good luck with a large family tent from Costco. They tend to stand behind stuff they sell.
by downshiftme
Mon Jul 17, 2017 3:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Humid basement
Replies: 39
Views: 3081

Re: Humid basement

A stop gap that worked for a similar situation for me was to run a small fan all the time in the affected area. It's a modest cost in electricity and the slight airflow solved my (similar) problem. It may or may not work for you, but it's easy to try.
by downshiftme
Sat Jul 15, 2017 9:03 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Was it unprofessional for the HR manager to ask for my salary history in front of a peer at a job interview?
Replies: 74
Views: 8570

Re: Was it unprofessional for the HR manager to ask for my salary history in front of a peer at a job interview?

You can complain to authorities if you like, but from what I have been told you will be wasting your time. The crime isn't asking the illegal question, the crime is making a hiring decision based on the prohibited information. You would need to prove that you were discriminated against because of yo...