Search found 990 matches

by fposte
Wed Dec 06, 2017 4:27 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: A Trip to Russia
Replies: 80
Views: 4011

Re: A Trip to Russia

1. Take an over-night train from Moscow to St Petersburg, or the other way around, and try a real Russian tea served by the train conductor. We took the high-speed train from Moscow to St. Petersburg during the day, and being able to see some of the countryside was very cool. In addition, some othe...
by fposte
Mon Dec 04, 2017 1:02 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Handling after death affairs for my deceased domestic partner
Replies: 17
Views: 2075

Re: Handling after death affairs for my deceased domestic partner

Assuming all accounts are not titled as POD/TOD etc., how can he avoid probate? I think the need for probate is dependent on local law and custom. We didn't probate my father's estate (in OH, not GA); the real property was tiny and beneficiaries had been clearly named on the financial assets, and t...
by fposte
Sun Dec 03, 2017 7:16 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to start after school prep work for underprivileged
Replies: 14
Views: 1028

Re: Want to start after school prep work for underprivileged

What kind a of mentoring did you have in mind? Something along lines of big brother/sister? Sure, or volunteering at a boys and girls club, or finding a program that actually has "mentoring" in the title. One advantage too is that you gain access to people familiar with and interested in this kind ...
by fposte
Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Want to start after school prep work for underprivileged
Replies: 14
Views: 1028

Re: Want to start after school prep work for underprivileged

This is a pretty tall order for somebody without educational experience, and I would strongly recommend you at least get involved in some kind of mentoring program as a mentor for some experience before you try to run something on your own. That being said: first, if you haven't, do some research. C...
by fposte
Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:50 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17340

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

"Totally huge" might be an exaggeration. But, I won't deny there is depreciation. Maybe, depends on the asset. But, how much can one sell for a done and over with vacation for? Pretty much all assets are going to be worth more $$ than and done and over experience. Even if it's $1, right? What about...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:35 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Broker account security compendium thread
Replies: 28
Views: 1970

Re: Broker account security compendium thread

I've actually had a check stolen (probably when DW left the checkbook in an unlocked car), but disputing one bad check at a store we never shop at was vastly easier to deal with than the (not experienced by me) nightmare of waking up one morning to discover that my email, phone, and all financial a...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 11:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17340

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

Are you suggesting that flying around the world, visiting foreign countries and getting dangerously close to wild animals is SAFER than not doing that???? It absolutely could be, depending on the controls on the trip and what you'd be doing at home. Flying around the world is almost certainly safer...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:32 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17340

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

Are you suggesting that flying around the world, visiting foreign countries and getting dangerously close to wild animals is SAFER than not doing that???? It absolutely could be, depending on the controls on the trip and what you'd be doing at home. Flying around the world is almost certainly safer...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:28 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: How your FA, insurance agent, your community reacts when you show your financial knowledge?
Replies: 39
Views: 4540

Re: How your FA, insurance agent, your community reacts when you show your financial knowledge?

I haven't found that much drama, frankly. When I left my financial advisor's office, they were courteous and polite, which they'd been all along. When I've turned away Edward Jones at the door, they've said "Okay, let me know if you change your mind," and gone away. I suspect nondramatic encounters ...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:18 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Broker account security compendium thread
Replies: 28
Views: 1970

Re: Broker account security compendium thread

Everything I'm seeing listed there so far is virtual. Remember paper insecurity is still a thing too (probably how my identity was stolen last year), so crosscut shred all discarded papers, statements, and printouts.
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17340

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

Frankly, if you got your science directly from the journals you might realize that it is very much not junk science and the literature is quite consistent here. Sort of, in that people do consistently value experiences, but the value they place on things seems to vary. Here is a Slate overview of b...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:47 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17340

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

Similarly, vacations can be vacuous affairs involving tour buses loaded, cattle-style, with the blue-hair and Sansabelt crowd from flyover states, trudging through European museums and lined up at tired buffets, or they can be solo back-packing trots along the Inca Trail with no map, no reservation...
by fposte
Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:46 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Help my kids pick a charitable cause
Replies: 19
Views: 744

Re: Help my kids pick a charitable cause

What about looking for something in your community that you can do with them, not just take them to, so they can see the action directly modeled as well? Food banks and pantries might be a place to look; that doesn't necessarily mean that they'll be face to face with the people receiving the benefit...
by fposte
Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:41 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets
Replies: 336
Views: 17340

Re: The fallacy of spending money on "experiences" vs hard assets

The subsequent research I've seen suggests that it's not that simple a division--that it depends to some extent how you experience your hard assets. For me, some hard assets can provide pleasurable experiences over a long amount of time, and even acquiring those assets can bring pleasure. I don't en...
by fposte
Sat Nov 11, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Isn't it safer to NOT sign Credit card?
Replies: 97
Views: 6501

Re: Isn't it safer to not sign Credit card?

TropikThunder wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:54 am
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 9:42 pm
What we typically do is write the words “ASK FOR ID” in that space.
My daughter does that, and even when the clerk turns the card over and looks, they still don't ask for her ID.
Post offices don't (or aren't supposed to) accept those cards, either.
by fposte
Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:13 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Okay to paint exterior brick?
Replies: 34
Views: 1867

Re: Okay to paint exterior brick?

I'm actually fine with a lot of painted brick (I grew up in a house with beautiful whitewashed brick)--I think the flagstones here are the problem, and they're going to look even weirder in black. I vote for approval and full stucco-ing or else covering it with siding.
by fposte
Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:36 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Living Off Savings to Max Retirement Accounts?
Replies: 27
Views: 2809

Re: Living Off Savings to Max Retirement Accounts?

Why would anyone want to eat up all their taxable accounts to have more in tax-deferred? Not the OP, but the answer from my POV: because it keeps my income low enough now that I can minimize the taxes on long-held individual stocks with substantial capital gains. Next year I won't sell any stock so...
by fposte
Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:19 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase
Replies: 27
Views: 2874

Re: Mold Discovered in Potential House Purchase

There are many different varieties of mold - some more harmful than others. So I wouldn't be cavalier about it. See this article about the most hazardous types. It's definitely true that some are worse than others, but that article looks seriously questionable to me, and it seems to be about drummi...
by fposte
Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:00 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?
Replies: 98
Views: 7971

Re: Morningstar: Cognitive decline in aging. A strong case for portfolio simplification?

So, while it is prudent to plan for what may lie ahead, I might caution about dumbing-down one's finances unnecessarily. The trick of course is to know when and if the decline is happening, and how quickly it is progressing. When it's your own, the impairment unfortunately impairs your ability to d...
by fposte
Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:10 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Emotional impact of spending down assets?
Replies: 100
Views: 10141

Re: Emotional impact of spending down assets?

I felt that one of my jobs as an adult child was to convince my savings-focused father to spend money on himself after his retirement. Not in the "You should buy a Bentley!" kind of way, but in that there were things he liked but was uneasy about splashing out on. He did a round-the-world trip on a ...
by fposte
Mon Oct 30, 2017 4:52 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for employee
Replies: 24
Views: 1201

Re: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for emplo

Another inconclusive update: I had an appointment with the local IRS office about this today. The nice woman said that it was a really interesting question and dug around a fair bit, some of it in places I'd seen and some I hadn't. Ultimately, she had the same blurry end as I did; there just aren't ...
by fposte
Fri Oct 27, 2017 11:26 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for employee
Replies: 24
Views: 1201

Re: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for emplo

You could try the DOL but I don't know how far it would get you. Yes, good thought--I could poke around to see if there's any non-EBSA connection there that would be useful. Another avenue is that there might be state's attorney people who'd be helpful; my state's office is generally pretty good. E...
by fposte
Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for employee
Replies: 24
Views: 1201

Re: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for emplo

I'm not the OP but I've been posting on this thread about my similar situation at what's clearly a different state university with a 457b. The current status isn't good. I sent the Benefits Office a link to that IRS page about fixing plan mistakes, and they state that that page only applies to 401ks...
by fposte
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:57 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get over the fear of traveling without spouse and children?
Replies: 52
Views: 4289

Re: How to get over the fear of traveling without spouse and children?

Meds can help, but they don't address the underlying issue. Speaking as somebody else with a phobia who tried a lot of different methodologies, sure they can; they erode the connection between the stimulus and the anxiety response. However, a dramamine wouldn't touch the adrenaline of many phobic r...
by fposte
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:31 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get over the fear of traveling without spouse and children?
Replies: 52
Views: 4289

Re: How to get over the fear of traveling without spouse and children?

Or take a Dramamine air sickness pill. You'll be out like a light for hours :-) Meds can help, but they don't address the underlying issue. Speaking as somebody else with a phobia who tried a lot of different methodologies, sure they can; they erode the connection between the stimulus and the anxie...
by fposte
Fri Oct 27, 2017 9:09 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to get over the fear of traveling without spouse and children?
Replies: 52
Views: 4289

Re: How to get over the fear of traveling without spouse and children?

Think of it this way... if you were travelling with spouse and kids, do you think the flight would be any safer? I think the second part of her sentence is actually the fear. She's not afraid of dying per se, but the impact on the rest of the family that results from leaving them behind. If everybo...
by fposte
Fri Oct 27, 2017 8:53 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Credit card companies forgiving debt after death?
Replies: 48
Views: 3930

Re: Credit card companies forgiving debt after death?

I'm a bit confused. Credit card debt is unsecured debt. They cannot seize assets if not paid. So what's the upside to paying an unsecured debt of a dead person? Honest question. The upside to me would be that I did the proper thing according to my ethics. YMMV. Yes, that's how I approached my fathe...
by fposte
Wed Oct 25, 2017 8:33 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for employee
Replies: 24
Views: 1201

Re: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for emplo

Would the fact that it was to a 457 change the applicability? I can't find confirmation that this covers a 457 plan, but I know of other corrections that apply to 457 and 401k plans alike, so I don't think this one would be different. Thanks. The overall phrasing in the associated pamphlet is "Tax ...
by fposte
Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:31 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for employee
Replies: 24
Views: 1201

Re: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for emplo

Without researching too much, their remedy sounds right. Respectfully, you are not out 50%. You received the funds as direct compensation. https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/fixing-common-plan-mistakes-correcting-a-failure-to-effect-employee-deferral-elections Wow. Thanks. Just sent an email inqu...
by fposte
Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:28 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for employee
Replies: 24
Views: 1201

Re: Want to verify correction procedure IRS requires when employer fails to make 403b retirement contributions for emplo

No help, but I'm really interested; a similar thing happened to me with my state university employer, and there was no mention of the IRS requiring the employer to contribute half the amount I had requested; I was just told that it was rotten luck, sorry. I don't suppose they gave you any details on...
by fposte
Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:49 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cold feet
Replies: 23
Views: 2421

Re: Cold feet

It took me a while to figure this out, but for me the feet are where I feel the cold, but the problem starts happening farther up on the legs. I therefore do a combination of tall wool socks and a base layer (sporty long undies, basically) under my pants.
by fposte
Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:32 pm
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?
Replies: 25
Views: 1671

Re: Office wants to pay dentist as contractor (sub-s). Any issues?

Is there a hygienist and office staff? Who is responsible for paying them?
by fposte
Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how long did it take to get used to retirement
Replies: 105
Views: 10400

Re: how long did it take to get used to retirement

I have been retired a year and three months, and I am still not used to it. The hardest part for me is filling my needs for social interaction and mental stimulation that the job formerly supplied. I have plenty of things to do, but it seems like too many of them involve being at home alone. And as...
by fposte
Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:10 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Medicare change upcoming - preauthorization for imaging tests
Replies: 13
Views: 1474

Re: Medicare change upcoming - preauthorization for imaging tests

In the November 2017 issue of Consumer Reports on health, there is an article about an upcoming Medicare change (optional in 2018, mandatory in 2019) that will require Preauthorization (PA) for expensive imaging tests (such as MRIs, CT scans, nuclear imaging). If the PA is not received, then you ma...
by fposte
Mon Oct 16, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making a Roth IRA for my Dad
Replies: 31
Views: 1597

Re: Making a Roth IRA for my Dad

I was under the impression you could open a Roth IRA with any amount you want, and that you were just limited to the contribution in the subsequent years ($5,500/6,500) but I'm not sure. Does anyone know this? You cannot put more than $6500 a year directly into an IRA from taxable accounts, whether...
by fposte
Mon Oct 16, 2017 10:42 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Making a Roth IRA for my Dad
Replies: 31
Views: 1597

Re: Making a Roth IRA for my Dad

I believe that if he is in and stays in the 15% tax bracket that long term capital gains is not taxed. (Make sure that you verify this.) Long-term capital gains are 0% only up to the top of the 15% bracket--if your conversions move you into 25%, that's 15% on anything over the line. (Which still is...
by fposte
Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:01 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Best weight loss resources?
Replies: 54
Views: 2692

Re: Best weight loss resources?

I really loved Brian Wansink's Slim by Design . It's a neat, funny, actionable distillation of his research into food behavior, not simply nutrition, so there is information about what makes people eat more in restaurants and at home, and what's made a difference in people's grocery shopping. Plus t...
by fposte
Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Pare back allocation?
Replies: 10
Views: 929

Re: Pare back allocation?

Don't assume that because your pension does not have an inflation adjustment that the OP's doesn't either. Case in point, my state teacher's retirement has an unlimited CPI adjustment each year based on the previous year. Not that this amounted to much considering the low CPI data Washington has ca...
by fposte
Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:28 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What to do with unused paint?
Replies: 38
Views: 2550

Re: What to do with unused paint?

This will make some people angry, but I make sure the lids are on properly then put it in thick contractor-style black trash bags and put it in the trash can for pickup. Where I live, the trash folks will take anything as long as they can't see what it is. Yes, it does make some people angry. Do yo...
by fposte
Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:20 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Retirement Account Stolen by Identity theft
Replies: 373
Views: 51747

Re: Identity theft

Maybe someone has pointed this out but on every account I have I immediately get a notification at my old email address that it has been changes along with a message to contact them if this is an unauthorized change. Does TransAmerica not do this? I believe Brak has said his father had no email add...
by fposte
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:39 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?
Replies: 40
Views: 3606

Re: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?

The OP stated that the notice was from a collections agency, so I read that as being from an outside agency. Perhaps the OP could clarify this. I don't know whether the FDCPA applies in-house (but I suspect not). If the bill came from an in-house collections department, I would still write rather t...
by fposte
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:19 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?
Replies: 40
Views: 3606

Re: Sent to collections by a hospital we've never been to?

Write a letter within 30 days of your receipt of the collections letter stating that you dispute the validity of the bill. Request verification of the bill. See what the collections agency sends you. Then use that information to take further action. This preserves your rights, requires the collecti...
by fposte
Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:37 pm
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Trying to convince my sister not to use a financial advisor
Replies: 59
Views: 4426

Re: Trying to convince my sister not to use a financial advisor

My guess: the percentages don't work on her because it's a personal factor. She's had enough conversation with this guy that she feels comfortable with him and committed to him, and maybe she feels like it would be awkward to back out now. If so, your thinking that she shouldn't feel like this won't...
by fposte
Wed Oct 04, 2017 2:11 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: iphone app for checking stocks and funds?
Replies: 9
Views: 859

Re: iphone app for checking stocks and funds?

I have a stocks widget on my laptop dash; it's customizable by ticker. I think it goes through Yahoo.
by fposte
Tue Oct 03, 2017 1:51 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 9966

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

I'm afraid it doesn't sound to me like most of what people are suggesting would have prevented the circumstances in NM and NV. If the family doctor didn't play ball, they found another one; if the family tried to interfere, the guardian banned them and the court sanctioned them. If the child takes l...
by fposte
Tue Oct 03, 2017 11:25 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 9966

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

Another reason to have a strong power of attorney in place. I would like to discuss how a power of attorney would remedy this issue. A trusted relative with greater mental acuity had POA they might be able to fight this more effectively, but the subjects of the attack were unable to stop the procee...
by fposte
Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:29 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Senior citizens can lose everything [to professional guardians via court rulings]
Replies: 111
Views: 9966

Re: Senior citizens can lose everything to this growing scam

But...this is very concerning. I scanned the article and actually it appears that OP's title is a bit overactive, as it seems that the particular abuse described has been reined in to a degree. It sounded more to me like one bad actor got caught and one state may be enacting legislation to limit th...
by fposte
Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Email address compromised - HELP!!!
Replies: 28
Views: 2581

Re: Email address compromised - HELP!!!

Do you have any reason to think this was somebody's personal vendetta? If you Google your email address, do you find anything significant? It's possible that this is just what used to be called a Joe job; your email got spoofed as the return address for spam and bots picked it up for other stuff. I'...
by fposte
Mon Sep 25, 2017 10:00 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping question....Applebees
Replies: 87
Views: 7107

Re: Tipping question....Applebees

It has to be at least $30 per month "customarily and regularly" for the employee to be classified as tipped; at least in my area, I doubt that many counter jars get there. However, wage irregularities and misclassifications are pretty common, so I've no doubt that some employers are doing as you su...
by fposte
Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:32 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tipping question....Applebees
Replies: 87
Views: 7107

Re: Tipping question....Applebees

Isn't that why we see tip jars are counter service locations, so the employees can reduce their labor costs by treating the staff as "tipped"? It has to be at least $30 per month "customarily and regularly" for the employee to be classified as tipped; at least in my area, I doubt that many counter ...