Search found 997 matches

by mlipps
Tue May 26, 2020 11:38 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Simple jobs during FATFire?
Replies: 58
Views: 4122

Re: Simple jobs during FATFire?

This question gets posted over & over (search Barista FIRE to find other threads) and I think it's so patronizing. Don't you think if there were low stress, mentally stimulating, part time jobs that provided health insurance that the hundreds of thousands of unemployed people in our country would be...
by mlipps
Tue May 26, 2020 11:23 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cross country road trip from MA to Glacier NP and Yellowstone NP
Replies: 45
Views: 2168

Re: Cross country road trip from MA to Glacier NP and Yellowstone NP

In addition to all the timing concerns raised above, I am personally really concerned about bathrooms when making road trips right now. They're a great transmission means for the virus, and I suspect people from all over the country will be thinking exactly you are. I'm not sure it's wise to put you...
by mlipps
Mon May 18, 2020 6:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How did you determine your target savings rate?
Replies: 109
Views: 4609

Re: How did you determine your target savings rate?

I get where you're coming from & struggle with the same question. I'm 30, single, and earning just over $100k. I have about $150k saved. Depending on what I put into a retirement calculator I might have $3M by the time I retire or I might have $700k. (I'm exaggerating a little, but you get the gist....
by mlipps
Sun May 10, 2020 8:06 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?
Replies: 65
Views: 5329

Re: What are your alternative plans this summer if it was travel?

We're still tentatively planning some small domestic trips. From Chicago, we may be able to drive to Indiana for annual camping trip with my cousin, and it might time to finally take a week to spend some time in UP of Michigan--no way to get there except 7 hours of driving, but it hasn't been high e...
by mlipps
Sun May 10, 2020 7:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Simplest Coffee Cold Brew Systems
Replies: 16
Views: 949

Re: Simplest Coffee Cold Brew Systems

We have a Primula brand 50 oz pitcher, as well as a smaller Takeya brand. I love the Primula. It makes more consistent coffee than my Takeya and the bottom twists off the wire strainer, so it's really easy to clean with or without a garbage disposal. It only takes 30 seconds or so to pour the water ...
by mlipps
Tue May 05, 2020 9:16 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hyundai Kona?
Replies: 17
Views: 1472

Re: Hyundai Kona?

We rented the 2018 Kia Nero hybrid via Turo for a week long road trip in Southern California in February. We liked the car so much it's gone onto our list of contenders to replace my boyfriend's car when it dies. I thought it was comfortable, well equipped, super easy on gas, decent looking compared...
by mlipps
Tue May 05, 2020 9:09 am
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Advantages of keeping your income below the stimulus check limits this year
Replies: 15
Views: 1897

Re: Advantages of keeping your income below the stimulus check limits this year

I did the math & decided to max out my 401k this year (I've been close but it doesn't allow me to save as much in cash as I would like). I will possibly decrease my contributions next year to just enough to stay in the 22% bracket depending on how much I am able to save in cash by the end of this ye...
by mlipps
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:36 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Where to place cash for monthly expenses?
Replies: 16
Views: 946

Re: Where to place cash for monthly expenses?

Read another thread here recently that the Fidelity cash management account will automatically spread your cash between up to 5 underlying institutions to FDIC insure up to $1.25 million. Have not personally investigated but that could be a good account for this purpose.
by mlipps
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Free Online MBA Worth It?
Replies: 22
Views: 1470

Re: Free Online MBA Worth It?

My concern with it being online is that it won't carry the prestige of major in person programs or the networking benefit. You're probably correct on both points. (If you're looking for prestige, it drops off quick after the top 15 schools.) OTOH, you may learn something that could prove useful at ...
by mlipps
Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:26 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: New 2020 Form W-4
Replies: 7
Views: 493

Re: New 2020 Form W-4

Yes, using our homegrown spreadsheets for calculating - federal and state taxes, and - withholding based on income alone Then it's just a matter of using the W-4 final box for Step 3 to reduce, or Step 4c to increase, withholding, so the final amount matches the tax liability (considering amounts a...
by mlipps
Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my employer health insurance "affordable"?
Replies: 9
Views: 657

Re: Is my employer health insurance "affordable"?

You are correct. This is brutal gaping hole in the law, which hit my mom in the first two years of the ACA. The affordability calculation is only based on the cost of the employee policy; the offer of coverage makes you ineligible for ACA subsidies. I'm sorry you find yourself in this predicament, ...
by mlipps
Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:24 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my employer health insurance "affordable"?
Replies: 9
Views: 657

Re: Is my employer health insurance "affordable"?

The short of it, my employer health insurance is extremely unfavorable for family coverage. My conclusion when looking into the "affordability" guidelines by the government lead me to believe that because my employer pays 100% of my premiums that it's considered affordable and there would be no ACA...
by mlipps
Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is my employer health insurance "affordable"?
Replies: 9
Views: 657

Re: Is my employer health insurance "affordable"?

You are correct. This is brutal gaping hole in the law, which hit my mom in the first two years of the ACA. The affordability calculation is only based on the cost of the employee policy; the offer of coverage makes you ineligible for ACA subsidies. I'm sorry you find yourself in this predicament, i...
by mlipps
Wed Apr 29, 2020 9:12 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Quitting a job after two weeks: relocation expenses
Replies: 196
Views: 17350

Re: Quitting a job after two weeks: relocation expenses

Work 40 hours a week, do what you can, and job hunt until they fire you.
by mlipps
Wed Apr 08, 2020 4:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Can't Get Mobile Deposit to Work - Capital One
Replies: 18
Views: 738

Re: Can't Get Mobile Deposit to Work - Capital One

I'm using Android 6 on Amazon Fire 7 tablet as I don't have a smartphone. I have the most recent version of the Capital One app and I even tried reinstalling it. It's probably because you're using a 5 year old version of Android on a $50 tablet. I think this is related to your device/OS, not Capita...
by mlipps
Fri Mar 27, 2020 3:01 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?
Replies: 30
Views: 2037

Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

As a younger person, I see perceptions changing. I think our generation understands better than older ones that it's ok to seek help & that someone is not damaged for needing therapy or having a mental health condition. It's absolutely insane and heartbreaking to me that the OP thinks they would hi...
by mlipps
Fri Mar 27, 2020 12:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?
Replies: 30
Views: 2037

Re: Seek Mental Health Help, Negative Consequences and Adverse Actions in future Personal Finance matters?

I think this thread just adds to misconceptions in some way. I do know that seeking counseling or having certain diagnoses can impact security clearance, but for ordinary employment 1. Your employer has no access to that information, through a background check or any other means 2. Any employer that...
by mlipps
Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Online piano sheet music resources
Replies: 14
Views: 597

Re: Online piano sheet music resources

I signed up for an app called SimplyPiano as a beginner. There is also a website called Scribd that is running 30 day free trials (compared to usual 7) which has an extensive sheet music collection.
by mlipps
Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:25 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wouldn't Day Trading do well in this environment?
Replies: 47
Views: 3070

Re: Wouldn't Day Trading do well in this environment?

I would like a professional trader to weigh in here. It seems to me that the computers, the algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence would make things harder for traders as it does for active investors. Just fewer market inefficiencies to exploit. But to me, making three trades a year is akin to day...
by mlipps
Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:17 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity Check: ESPP Not Worth It
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: Sanity Check: ESPP Not Worth It

5% discount on the average of open/close price, not lowest...so I get hosed if it crashes during the offering period right?? From the plan description you posted, it sounds like there is no risk during the offering period, so no, I don't believe so. But you could get hosed by being forced to hold a...
by mlipps
Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:55 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity Check: ESPP Not Worth It
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Re: Sanity Check: ESPP Not Worth It

cogito wrote:
Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:52 pm
If the holding period is 15 months for a 5% discount, I would put 0%, none, nada of my income into that program.
5% discount on the average of open/close price, not lowest...so I get hosed if it crashes during the offering period right??
by mlipps
Tue Mar 17, 2020 4:50 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Sanity Check: ESPP Not Worth It
Replies: 11
Views: 651

Sanity Check: ESPP Not Worth It

I'm eligible for my company's ESPP for the first time this quarter, but I think the discount is small enough it's not worth concentrating any risk in an individual stock. We're a well diversified holding company that trades on the S&P 500, so I think it's reasonably stable, but obviously everything ...
by mlipps
Tue Mar 17, 2020 3:33 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wouldn't Day Trading do well in this environment?
Replies: 47
Views: 3070

Re: Wouldn't Day Trading do well in this environment?

My boyfriend trades futures & derivatives professionally. They made $2 mil one day, $4 mil another, lost most of their gains for the year another day. He claims they're profitable in the long run and far it be from me to say he's wrong but...I'll stick to indexing & I assume all but the most profes...
by mlipps
Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:27 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Wouldn't Day Trading do well in this environment?
Replies: 47
Views: 3070

Re: Wouldn't Day Trading do well in this environment?

My boyfriend trades futures & derivatives professionally. They made $2 mil one day, $4 mil another, lost most of their gains for the year another day. He claims they're profitable in the long run and far it be from me to say he's wrong but...I'll stick to indexing & I assume all but the most profess...
by mlipps
Mon Mar 16, 2020 8:10 pm
Forum: Personal Investments
Topic: Take money out of the bank?
Replies: 66
Views: 5739

Re: Take money out of the bank?

I firmly believe if you need more than $1000 in cash, the cash is no longer going to help you. You've reached guns, ammo, and gasoline territory (I am not a prepper and have none of he above, just saying that if it gets to that point we are not operating in this realm anymore).
by mlipps
Fri Feb 28, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Very worried about my 2020 W-4, Withholding - Please Help
Replies: 7
Views: 606

Re: Very worried about my 2020 W-4, Withholding - Please Help

My first guess is you're missing health insurance premiums somewhere. Also, you can't enter your FSA & 401k into the paycheck calculator in the same line. The FSA deduction is exempt from FICA and Federal taxes (and probably state--not sure about VA). 401k is only exempt from Federal & state. Next, ...
by mlipps
Tue Feb 11, 2020 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Digital Job Interview?
Replies: 18
Views: 1310

Re: Digital Job Interview?

A certain major drug store chain that starts with a W and has 9 letters in it's name invited me to do one a few years ago...after a recruiter had head hunted me for the role on LinkedIn! I refused to participate & wrote him back letting him know my reason why. So rude--it acts like hiring is a one s...
by mlipps
Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:09 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 Question
Replies: 31
Views: 1891

Re: W2 Question

Box 12 Code W is the total contributed by both your employer and you (through a pre-tax cafeteria plan). It is possible, but not likely, that your employer got this amount wrong. Why isn't your part reflected in the difference between Box 1 and Boxes 3 & 5? Because it was deducted before Box 1 was ...
by mlipps
Mon Jan 20, 2020 2:49 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: W2 Question
Replies: 31
Views: 1891

Re: W2 Question

I agree with you that something seems out of sorts on both counts. My interpretation of how the HSA contributions should impact your W-2 are the same as yours.
by mlipps
Thu Jan 09, 2020 1:05 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1095-A mistake (No SLCSP)
Replies: 29
Views: 10903

Re: 1095-A mistake (No SLCSP)

My point from above still stands--this is not a mistake, it is expected. I've been doing taxes for low income families at a VITA site since 2012 and we have seen this issue since the beginning of the ACA. Just use the healthcare.gov tax tool to retrieve the correct value & include it on your 8962. ...
by mlipps
Thu Jan 09, 2020 10:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 1095-A mistake (No SLCSP)
Replies: 29
Views: 10903

Re: 1095-A mistake (No SLCSP)

I just received my 1095-A for 2019 and this issue is still occurring after all this time. I'm wondering if anyone who filed in more recent years still had the trouble with the IRS claiming the form doesn't match what was filed, that the original posters experienced. My point from above still stands...
by mlipps
Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:53 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Swapping a lease and buying used car?
Replies: 18
Views: 1266

Re: Swapping a lease and buying used car?

Hi everyone, Due to some bad decision making and stress, I took on a car lease (36 months, 10500 miles per year, $256/month, 31 months left). I am on track to be ~5K miles under the lease mileage requirement, since I only use it to commute to and from work, so no plan to go over. It's my only debt,...
by mlipps
Fri Jan 03, 2020 3:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Is volunteering worth the hassle?
Replies: 98
Views: 8326

Re: Is volunteering worth the hassle?

Retired at age 65 in 2002. One year later my wife said I had to find "a volunteer job". Ever since then I have been doing volunteer tax preparation services for the AARP Foundation Tax Counseling for the Elderly program (sometimes referred to as Tax-Aide). There are a good number of similar volunte...
by mlipps
Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:32 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Parents purchasing real estate for me to rent (at market rate)
Replies: 26
Views: 2230

Re: Parents purchasing real estate for me to rent (at market rate)

I'm really confused what you gain in this scenario. You have a condo with substantial equity & can afford the rent on the house. In the long run, there's rarely a lot of arbitrage between market rent & purchase price on an expensive property like that. Why don't you just buy it for yourself if it's ...
by mlipps
Thu Dec 26, 2019 8:52 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sleep Masks & Ear Plugs
Replies: 35
Views: 2339

Re: Sleep Masks & Ear Plugs

A friend who is an audiologist helped me mold the Decibullz self mold ear plugs. They’re on Amazon for $25 and she wanted to use me as a test case for patients who won’t pay the $200 listed above for the ones she sells. You have to press very firmly to get them molded right—I would have been nervous...
by mlipps
Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 26 years old - How am I doing?
Replies: 40
Views: 4388

Re: 26 years old - How am I doing?

5K savings seems pretty low given you’re not paying rent. Not sure where the 1k per month is going to come from to pay rent. Unless this was factored in to your savings rate, this means you’re not doing that well. OP is still maxing out 401k, Roth IRA, and HSA contributions, so to say they're not "...
by mlipps
Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:39 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: 26 years old - How am I doing?
Replies: 40
Views: 4388

Re: 26 years old - How am I doing?

If you're living at home & not paying rent, you should pay yourself rent & save for a down payment.

Also if you're 26 and living at home you should pay your parents rent, IMO.
by mlipps
Tue Dec 24, 2019 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Fidelity.com website; not easy to find 2019 contributions
Replies: 6
Views: 513

Re: Fidelity.com website; not easy to find 2019 contributions

I don't have a solo 401k but when I click on my Roth at Fidelity I usually see my contributions. It was literally there yesterday and is not today. However, from Jan to Apr it will show you the 2019 & 2020 contributions so my guess is the graphic is offline while they move it to that version--just b...
by mlipps
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:21 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out
Replies: 28
Views: 1727

Re: Excel Formula Cannot Figure Out

You don't need to nest the IF statement, you can instead use the function "IFS" to evaluate multiple if statements:

https://exceljet.net/excel-functions/excel-ifs-function
by mlipps
Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:19 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Traveling to South Africa - money tips
Replies: 14
Views: 819

Re: Traveling to South Africa - money tips

You don't need to notify credit card companies anymore with the advent of chip cards. Both CapitalOne & Chase have done away with travel notices, for example. If any of those countries use the USD as their "defacto" currency, make sure you go to a bank, not an ATM, before you go, so you can get NEW ...
by mlipps
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:49 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?
Replies: 45
Views: 2291

Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

No, because my postal service is abysmal.
by mlipps
Fri Dec 13, 2019 1:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day Trip to Downtown Chicago
Replies: 62
Views: 3646

Re: Day Trip to Downtown Chicago

Schedule sounds like an awful lot to fit into one day. Architectural boat tour is a must-do. That and the Field Museum will eat up the day if you throw in driving and dinner. The bean and Maggie Daley Park are better left for summer in my opinion. Maybe I'm underestimating things, but I don't think...
by mlipps
Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:53 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day Trip to Downtown Chicago
Replies: 62
Views: 3646

Re: Day Trip to Downtown Chicago

A fun place for kids right next to Millenium Park is the Nutella Cafe. Wildberry Cafe on Randolph is also surprisingly good, although not likely to win any culinary awards. Also, Ming Hin next to Mariano's is above average Cantonese food for Chicago, but below average compared to NYC, SF, etc., so d...
by mlipps
Thu Dec 12, 2019 10:33 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Day Trip to Downtown Chicago
Replies: 62
Views: 3646

Re: Day Trip to Downtown Chicago

Regarding your traffic question, yea, it will be bad. Not sure where you are in SW Michigan and if the Google map time was taking into consideration traffic at the same hour you would be driving in, but you will most definitely be hitting rush hour traffic. Plan for additional time. Otherwise, your...
by mlipps
Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:08 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Ski gear for toddler
Replies: 37
Views: 2147

Re: Ski gear for toddler

REI sells used gear online: https://www.rei.com/used It's really convenient as you can see the original product details & reviews, as well as the condition of the items.
by mlipps
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 3918

Re: Managing money near death of a spouse

Our two checking account are “tenants by the entirety” so we are covered there. The scary part of the story for me is that with a joint account, the ill spouse can just walk into the bank and take everything. This seems to me to argue for at least some significant amount of money in separate accoun...
by mlipps
Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:36 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 3918

Re: Managing money near death of a spouse

My father passed in October & I had to rollover his IRA to a spousal one for my mother. The interface was a little clunky but I did it all online within 30 minutes, including uploading a scan of the death certificate. I was surprised at how smoothly it went. Which provider? Oops. Clearly my brain i...
by mlipps
Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Managing money near death of a spouse
Replies: 60
Views: 3918

Re: Managing money near death of a spouse

The surviving spouse faces challenges even if the deceased spouse tries to address these issues. My father did everything he could to make things easy for my mother and she nonetheless was treated like a stranger by her bank and funds (Vanguard, TRP and TIAA). TRP was the worst. I'd imagine many su...
by mlipps
Mon Dec 02, 2019 1:40 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Christmas Vacation Idea with 2 yo Toddler?
Replies: 38
Views: 2348

Re: Christmas Vacation Idea with 2 yo Toddler?

I think there's more to do in Cincinnati than Indianapolis. Not sure there is a week's worth of stuff to do in either in the wintertime though. COSI & the zoo in Columbus are also really outstanding places. I'd be tempted to do a few days in each personally but you might not want to do that much dri...
by mlipps
Thu Nov 21, 2019 11:47 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?
Replies: 85
Views: 8545

Re: Spending money to make travel easier and luxurious?

Especially in Europe, I don't find spending money on fancy hotels very satisfying. But I will spend money to be at one centrally located to a lot of things i want to do, or an Air BNB in the most charming neighborhood. Agree with another poster that I usually enjoy taking a bus or train (but especia...