Search found 80 matches

by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:22 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What is your single most expensive mistake?
Replies: 179
Views: 10231

Re: What is your single most expensive mistake?

Owning and operating inherited rental properties with family members. Came into the situation with family issues, effort in management was one-sided, and the situation ended up in a court-ordered partition by sale during a time period between the financial crisis and recovery that was sub optimal. L...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: “Majority of working-age Americans have no retirement savings”
Replies: 73
Views: 3669

Re: “Majority of working-age Americans have no retirement savings”

The percentage of private sector employees with pensions was historically never higher than about one in three. Many people who were near-poor during their working years and didn't save for retirement people continue to work, or take some type of part-time job because they lack sufficient retirement...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Aug 30, 2018 9:22 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Zelle, online payments
Replies: 53
Views: 4353

Re: Zelle, online payments

You don't use Zelle to transact with people you don't personally know, as (like Venmo and unlike Paypal) there is no meaningful fraud protection.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:57 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Where to buy engagement ring?
Replies: 56
Views: 3979

Re: Where to buy engagement ring?

Prior to the existence of shops like Blue Nile, I would say Diamond District all the way over a local jeweler. These days, prices on Blue Nile and DD are comparable (you may even save with Blue Nile). I would recommend soliciting recommendations from friends rather than just wandering the Diamond Di...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best (cheapest) way to book a flight well in advance
Replies: 15
Views: 1646

Re: Best (cheapest) way to book a flight well in advance

Use Google Flights or Kayak to see what flight options are and their prediction about whether fares will rise or fall. If price options are generally comparable, I would choose a direct flight on a major airline that serves your destination frequently over one that only has a few flights to Costa Ri...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:44 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Are millennials botching their asset allocations?
Replies: 68
Views: 7637

Re: Are millennial botching their asset allocations?

As an "old millennial" (1981) I usually find generational comparisons to be kind of dumb. Show me what Gen X did when they were my age, or Baby Boomers WHEN THEY WERE MY AGE. That's interesting. Survey a few of the 25% of Millennials who are 0% equity and ask them why. Do they even know they are? Ar...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Jul 30, 2018 7:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Two Days on Long Island
Replies: 16
Views: 1542

Re: Two Days on Long Island

Head east. If you have a few days during the week take the train out to Montauk (or East Hampton or Amangansett if you don't want to go all the way out). If a weekend - avoid the insanity and head to Sag Harbor or maybe the North Fork (Greenport, for example). IMO the beaches starting in East Hampto...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:34 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Thinking about job change but current job gives 9% salary into 401k..
Replies: 27
Views: 3516

Re: Thinking about job change but current job gives 9% salary into 401k..

Definitely consider the 401k contribution to be part of total compensation! For the past 5 years my firm has had an 8% (of total comp) profit-sharing contribution to our 401ks and we definitely make the point to communicate it in the total comp package to current employees and new hires. Would also ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Jul 26, 2018 8:07 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?
Replies: 43
Views: 2468

Re: Figuring out long-term technology plan for kids - Chromebook?

Bit of a contrarian opinion but I see Chromebook // Kids // Long-Term as a "pick two" scenario.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Jul 24, 2018 6:13 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?
Replies: 34
Views: 3675

Re: Anyone sell their car to Carmax or webuyanycar.com?

Several years ago I sold a 16 year old car with just 77,000 miles on it to a private party for $2,000.

Carmax offered me $700.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Dealing with HOA Notice
Replies: 118
Views: 9785

Re: Dealing with HOA Notice

I don't have any actual advice for you - but thought I'd share an amusing HOA anecdote while you work this out. When I worked on Capitol Hill years ago, fielding calls from angry constituents complaining about this or that, my boss used to say that people loved to complain about government but when ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Jul 18, 2018 1:09 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: suit shoe combo?
Replies: 49
Views: 3331

Re: suit shoe combo?

Dear God, no.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:28 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?
Replies: 65
Views: 3891

Re: 35 minute connection for flight, long enough?

35 minutes is not enough, and definitely not enough during holiday season.

Your plan to fly direct into ORD and drive for 2 hours vs. connecting and driving for an hour sounds like the right decision.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:56 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone take naps at work?
Replies: 93
Views: 5916

Re: Anyone take naps at work?

Definitely not. I actually sometimes go to the gym during work hours - more or less the opposite of napping. If I observed any of my team napping during work hours, I'd definitely have a productive convo with them about their workload, hours and home-life. If someone had worked really late the night...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:03 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?
Replies: 50
Views: 5784

Re: Where do you keep your Emergency Fund?

Our currently sits online at Marcus (formerly Goldman Sachs online bank) and is divided between a true "emergency" fund and things like a fund for expected car maintenance. That said, for the period 2010 until about 2016 when I got married I had the majority of my emergency fund in VTSAX. Thinking a...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Jul 09, 2018 11:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: WiFi router
Replies: 46
Views: 4174

Re: WiFi router

I swear by ASUS routers. If you want reliability and quality for cheap - you can get an ASUS AC1900 refurbished from T-mobile on Amazon for like $50.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Jul 09, 2018 8:45 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What do you pay for home services?
Replies: 55
Views: 3548

Re: What do you pay for home services?

We pay $70 for our cleaning person to clean our 800 sq ft. apartment in Manhattan. It is one of the only things in my life in NYC that I feel is actually pretty reasonably priced.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Jun 15, 2018 9:59 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with
Replies: 152
Views: 12598

Re: Which boglehead rule do you break--and are ok with

Most of ours are what I'd call "strategic lifestyle creep" - living in Manhattan in our 30s, combined income of just under $700k (which has nearly doubled in last 3 years), with plans to try for kids in near future and sowing some wild oats with travel prior to that. Namely: 1. I pay to have my car ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Jun 04, 2018 6:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Redeeming Credit Card Miles
Replies: 12
Views: 1295

Re: Redeeming Credit Card Miles

Mostly because the value you can get from credit cards rewards is directly proportional to the time and effort you put into the redemption process. For people who don't want to deal with it, you can take the cash. For people who want to apply the 1 cent per point rewards miles to travel-related purc...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Comparing jobs: bonus vs no bonus
Replies: 26
Views: 1780

Re: Comparing jobs: bonus vs no bonus

I would not count the "eligible for" bonus as part of compensation and instead negotiate on base. If you want to ask a pointed question about the company's bonus practices for the past few years you absolutely should - e.g. have they paid bonuses to employees at your incoming level in past years? As...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Jun 01, 2018 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Travel advice for an engineer
Replies: 65
Views: 4660

Re: Travel advice for an engineer

The city of Tokyo in general is a pretty amazing feat of engineering, design and culture. Namely, how you can pack so many people into such a small geographic area and have things function so efficiently. Also, just really damn cool. Adding on to what others have said in terms of physical structures...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed May 16, 2018 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Golden Handcuffs
Replies: 53
Views: 9094

Re: Golden Handcuffs

I've been around this carousel a few times without jumping off. I was fortunate to discover (through self-reflection, talking with mentors, and working with an executive coach) that the vast majority of what was contributing to my itch/ennui was my own mindset. Learning how to change that and doing ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed May 02, 2018 11:08 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!
Replies: 129
Views: 11582

Re: Have you quit eating sugar? Tell me how!

I've been Keto for the past 2 years. Went from religiously monitoring macronutrient intake to doing essentially a version of "lazy keto"/Slow-carb where I'll occasionally consume legumes and a few other foods that have carbs but low glycemic indices. Eliminating "sugar" is a good thing, but if your ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Apr 18, 2018 11:24 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door
Replies: 106
Views: 12300

Re: Quitting job - what to do if getting walked to the door

Most likely scenario is that HC will continue through end of month, and COBRA docs will either be given to him upon termination or mailed thereafter. Companies can sometimes drag ass on how quickly they mail out COBRA information. Should consider how soon new employer's healthcare will kick in. Fact...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Farewell gift for office when quitting job?
Replies: 19
Views: 2631

Re: Farewell gift for office when quitting job?

I would not waste time/money on material gifts, but instead spend some time writing a personal note to every individual co-worker in the office about how much you've enjoyed working with them, a fond memory, and something you learned from them/something you've appreciated about their work. Showing g...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:12 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Why does it seem there are so many bad/poor 401K plans?
Replies: 36
Views: 4818

Re: Why does it seem there are so many bad/poor 401K plans?

Combination of a lot of things. I can only speak from experience in the SMB world. Historically the Vanguard's and Fidelity's of the world didn't compete in the smaller spaces until very recently. Instead you had a plethora of insurance companies touting their experience working with other SMBs, and...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Mar 07, 2018 11:03 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: COBRA grace period concerns
Replies: 17
Views: 2384

Re: COBRA grace period concerns

Yes - it is important to note that taking COBRA and then choosing to cancel it (via non-payment) does not count as a qualifying event if done past 60 days on the ACA exchange, or past 30 for most employer insurances (e.g. being added to a spouse's employer policy). It is also important to note that ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Mar 07, 2018 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Luggage/travel recommendations?
Replies: 54
Views: 4169

Re: Luggage/travel recommendations?

Garment bags are worthless. Learn how to fold a suit jacket properly for packing in a carry-on and you'll be golden. Strongly recommend Briggs and Riley. DW has the Baseline Domestic Spinner (which hasn't posed a size problem in the US nor in Europe, generally) but the slightly smaller, squatter Int...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Feb 21, 2018 10:38 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: [What UN-frugal thing do you do? What do you splurge on?]
Replies: 567
Views: 40986

Re: What UN-frugal thing do you do?

Vacations & Travel. DW and I are in our 30s, don't yet have kids, and are fortunate to have high incomes. We have been decidedly un-frugal recently with travel, knowing that once little ones come into the picture it will be quite some time before we're able to take these kinds of trips again. Last y...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Feb 16, 2018 12:44 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to get child's skin in the game for college?
Replies: 135
Views: 8154

Re: How to get child's skin in the game for college?

I suspect that how a child is raised and the experiences she has during the first 18 years of life will probably a stronger force of her having a "skin in the game' of her own future than whatever type of college plan you concoct. There is nothing wrong with letting her know she'll be on the hook fo...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Laid off ...next steps
Replies: 31
Views: 5595

Re: Laid off ...next steps

Sorry to hear that. On the one hand, 20 weeks severance plus 6 months company-paid COBRA is a pretty decent package compared to what the average joe would get. On the other hand with a PhD in Mech E you're clearly not the average joe and are likely correct that a job search for a relatively high-lev...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:05 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: L.L. Bean, Citing Abuse, Tightens Its Generous Policy on Returns
Replies: 41
Views: 4933

Re: L.L. Bean, Citing Abuse, Tightens Its Generous Policy on Returns

Overall not a great look for LL Bean. Political kerfuffle earlier in the year plus changing the return policy (which was a giant open loophole for decades) at a time when many other companies are going in the opposite direction to provide more generous customer service policies isn't good for the br...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:48 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Your shopping strategy for new tires?
Replies: 154
Views: 14797

Re: Your shopping strategy for new tires?

The quality of experience at Costco can vary tremendously. I recently bought tires from them and had them installed at the Long Island City, Queens location and it was a nightmare from start to finish. Not to mention Costco doesn't do alignment. Next time I will go back to having my mechanic order a...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Jan 25, 2018 1:30 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: High Yield Savings Account Recommendations?
Replies: 48
Views: 5240

Re: High Yield Savings Account Recommendations?

I use Marcus (formerly Goldman Sachs Bank). The branding is weird and the new UI isn't great - but transfers execute in 1 day unlike, say, Barclays where you're lucky if they happen in 4.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: London/Paris Trip Questions
Replies: 41
Views: 2182

Re: London/Paris Trip Questions

1. Use Google flights to see what options are (also check Norwegian) - and then book directly thru the airline(s) website. Better for seat assignments, alerts, and in case there are any issues/delays with flight to book thru airline vs. third party. If flying into Heathrow, would recommend taking th...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:27 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Best 401k Employer Match Structure
Replies: 132
Views: 13321

Re: Best 401k Employer Match Structure

My firm (small prof services firm) does a Safe Harbor Non-Elective Contribution equal to 3% of each employees salary (regardless if they contribute their own $ of not), and then an additional profit-sharing component that has been 4.5% on top of that (has been 4.5% for last 5 years). We use a 3 year...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: The Economics of a new Puppy
Replies: 113
Views: 8573

Re: The Economics of a new Puppy

The things that I would strongly recommend investing time and $ on are: 1. Crate Training: It makes housebreaking so much easier and less stressful, and having a dog that is used to/likes going into her crate makes travel easier and safer, and makes boarding at a facility (if needed) much simpler an...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:52 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests
Replies: 79
Views: 7190

Re: Etiquette question: Paying for meals out & out of town guests

Chalk the $65 up to the cost of being a gracious and accommodating host, and leave it at that.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:17 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Where did you first learn about investing?
Replies: 98
Views: 6792

Re: Where did you first learn about investing?

When I was in 5th Grade my math class played a stock market game. We each had a fixed amount of fake money and had to choose individual stocks that we would invest in. Mind you, this was in the early 1990s before computers - so the teacher gave us the stock symbol/reports sheets that the newspapers ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Nov 16, 2017 11:01 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you meditate?
Replies: 131
Views: 12292

Re: Do you meditate?

Yes, twice daily (in the morning and in the late afternoon). Usually do at home or as soon as I get to office, and then again in the afternoon in my office. I got into the practice via the Headspace App, which I'd highly recommend for anyone just beginning. I work in a frantic, high-stress field and...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: buying a tux - any experience with Indichino?
Replies: 7
Views: 773

Re: buying a tux - any experience with Indichino?

Indochino is fine - though would probably not go this route if you don't live near a showroom that can professionally measure you. Generally these mail-order custom shops have gotten much better over the last 5 years, but you can still run into problems every now and again (e.g. the Combatant Gentle...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cutting the cord in NYC
Replies: 10
Views: 1135

Re: Cutting the cord in NYC

Switch to Spectrum/TWC for 3-4 months (no contracts) and then if you're not satisfied with service go back to Fios as a "new" customer and take advantage of promos.
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: How to request 401k fund changes from employer?
Replies: 4
Views: 627

Re: How to request 401k fund changes from employer?

Honestly, you have what you need - so why not just leave things there? If you want to do something - advocate on behalf of the low-fee index funds to your peers when they enroll. If you were able to impact change and add better-performing managed funds, you're just adding to the complication of choi...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Oct 31, 2017 10:02 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cabo San Lucas - question
Replies: 34
Views: 4636

Re: Cabo San Lucas - question

We stay at Esperanza (where we got married). It is expensive, but awesome, has private beaches, and there is kid stuff to do as well. During our wedding some of our guests stayed at the Cape (less kid-friendly) as well as a nearby resort called Hacienda Encantada which was more affordable, family-or...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:07 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Help - 401k John hancock Fund Selection
Replies: 14
Views: 1626

Re: Help - 401k John hancock Fund Selection

With Hancock, you should also make sure that the ERs you're seeing are all-in expense ratios. If your company uses an advisor/advisory firm (as many do) that charges a percentage of AUM, in many instances Hancock's default setting is to leave this fee out of their listed ERs unless they've been aske...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Business Laptop Suggestions Request
Replies: 36
Views: 3722

Re: Business Laptop Suggestions Request

Dell XPS 13 with the new Kaby Lake CPU. Get it without the touch-screen for durability and lack of complications. They offer a core i7 Kaby Lake CPU model with 256GB SSD, which I'd grab. Could also get a new Mac Book Pro and run windows on it. Greatly prefer the XPS to the Latitude for size/weight f...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:06 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best weight loss resources?
Replies: 54
Views: 3836

Re: Best weight loss resources?

I can't speak highly enough of keto. Though my 20s I could always maintain a healthy weight by being calorie-conscious - but as I got older and career-demands grew, I found it more difficult to see weight-loss results. So I started keto back in January and lost 30 lbs to get back to my college weigh...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:57 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Backdoor Roth: importance of spouse's tIRA
Replies: 5
Views: 666

Re: Backdoor Roth: importance of spouse's tIRA

Your spouse doesn't need to do anything with her tIRA in order for you to make a Backdoor Roth contribution. However, given that you both have employer plans and given that your joint income requires you to make a Backdoor contribution - you might want to consider rolling her tIRA into her employer ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: $7 flights on RyanAir
Replies: 39
Views: 5322

Re: $7 flights on RyanAir

They're on my DO NOT FLY list. Haven't ever, won't ever. I've had bad enough experiences with the "better" European carriers like Lufthansa and Scandanavian cancelling flights and being a nightmare to re-book. My perspective is that if I'm already paying (and taking time off) to get to Europe, I'll ...
by LawyersGunsAndMoney
Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:50 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Would you hire an obese nanny?
Replies: 81
Views: 4582

Re: Would you hire an obese nanny?

I think it is a bit silly to be overly concerned about the implications of the candidate's weight on your children's behavior. I think it is a more reasonable concern about whether someone at that size/stature can do the job needed, and keep up with the children/activities without risk of injury. We...