Search found 976 matches

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: 6211

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: 1761

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: 2721

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: 2784

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: 7666

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: 9985

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: 23
Views: 1056

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: 23
Views: 1056

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: 23
Views: 1056

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: 4217

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: 4217

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: 4217

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: 3849

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: 23
Views: 1056

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: 23
Views: 1056

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: 23
Views: 1056

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: 2361

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: 1620

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: 10107

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: 1416

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: 1496

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: 1496

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: 2502

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: 896

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: 2424

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: 372
Views: 49497

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: 3472

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: 3472

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: 4215

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: 830

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: 9565

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: 9565

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: 9565

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: 2490

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: 7005

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: 7005

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 ...
by fposte
Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:32 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Finding contractor for small-ish, hourly job (deck carpentry)
Replies: 19
Views: 1166

Re: Finding contractor for small-ish, hourly job (deck carpentry)

If it's reasonably active in your area, Nextdoor.com is a good place to get recommendations for people with specific handy skills that aren't contractor level.
by fposte
Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:05 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: What money to store outside for disaster?
Replies: 63
Views: 5137

Re: What money to store outside for disaster?

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:58 am
Where I live, the most likely disaster is going to be a blizzard.
Around me it's a tornado. It sure would be ironic, given my storage of emergency stuff in the basement, if I ended up with a flood instead.
by fposte
Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:37 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?
Replies: 17
Views: 1211

Re: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?

When would someone want to park money at minimum of 2.5% (for any period of time at all), if they could keep it at a minimum of 3% for the same time period, and with equal opportunity to <do whatever> with the money next? Beats me. When I was first trying to figure out my TIAA Trad and talked to so...
by fposte
Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:09 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?
Replies: 17
Views: 1211

Re: Is this TIAA TRAD 3% or 2.5%?

ResearchMed wrote:
Sun Sep 17, 2017 9:53 am

Does anyone here have a 3% *unrestricted* Trad Ann that includes the lower paying "2.5% payout annuity"?
It looks like that terminology appears in the overview every flavor I can find of of TIAA Trad, including the GSRA and the SRA, which I believe are both unrestricted.
by fposte
Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:44 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?
Replies: 21
Views: 1690

Re: Are Cotton Blankets Good For Winter?

Is an all cotton blanket going to provide warmth during cold winters? Now keep in mind I already have a big top blanket that has fill inside. Does "top blanket" mean the cotton would be going underneath this, or are you trying to jettison that big blanket for something lighter? If you are looking f...
by fposte
Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:14 am
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: Protection Aginst Tax Fraud in Light of Equifax Hack
Replies: 6
Views: 862

Re: Protection Aginst Tax Fraud in Light of Equifax Hack

There is the IRS's https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f14039.pdf; I don't actually know what action the IRS takes as a result of it, though.
by fposte
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:30 am
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 49956

Re: Equifax customer information leak

Actually it isn't totally clear to me if the people being given dates are actually compromised. Using their site I have seen 3 responses returned to people: 1) we believe your personal information may have been impacted 2) your enrollment date for TrustedID Premier is 3) we believe your personal in...
by fposte
Thu Sep 07, 2017 6:07 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Equifax customer information leak
Replies: 711
Views: 49956

Re: Equifax customer information leak

They're already offering free enrollment in "Trusted ID Premier" for those involved. It's slightly weird, in that the way they tell you whether your info was involved or not is by telling you when you'd be allowed to enroll (for reasons I'm not clear on it's staggered by date).
by fposte
Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:45 pm
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Wife believes 7+% returns from stock market are guaranteed
Replies: 64
Views: 5942

Re: Wife believes 7+% returns from stock market are guaranteed

You asked about taking a loan from your 401k last year. Did you take that loan to pay for the house in cash rather than acquiring a mortgage? Your wife may be reasonably questioning the overall resistance to a mortgage, even if she's overoptimistic on the stock market returns.
by fposte
Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:51 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: taking probiotics anyone
Replies: 10
Views: 1091

Re: taking probiotics anyone

selftalk wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2017 6:38 pm
I learned from reading today that Activa was the best for the live cultures.
It depends which strains you're looking for. It is also, as Yooper notes, super easy to make your own, and you can get a lot more microbial action that way.
by fposte
Tue Sep 05, 2017 11:35 am
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Book Recommendations: Nutrition / Psychology
Replies: 28
Views: 2299

Re: Book Recommendations: Nutrition / Psychology

How about some food psychology? Brian Wansink's Mindless Eating is funny and fascinating.
by fposte
Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Coyote Defense
Replies: 69
Views: 5453

Re: Coyote Defense

Geneyus wrote:
Mon Sep 04, 2017 8:05 pm
Single coyotes don't go near humans, unless they're rabid.
Or habituated, unfortunately. Always a game-changer in animal behavior.
by fposte
Sat Sep 02, 2017 12:37 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood floors warping?
Replies: 19
Views: 1866

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

I can't imagine that your cleaner used a large amount of water. Leave your windows open for a while and run some fans. Running dehumidifiers for a prolonged time can get pricey. I would only recommend that if you think your subfloor got soaked. I don't think the subfloor got soaked--it was more the...
by fposte
Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:31 pm
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Hardwood floors warping?
Replies: 19
Views: 1866

Re: Hardwood floors warping?

Oh, this is very reassuring--thanks. I will try that and cross my fingers!