Coffee Break / Father’s Day Gift Idea: Say It With a Sock

father's day gift idea sock subscription If you’re a fan of interesting, silly, colorful socks — or know someone who is — you may want to consider this subscription service, “Say it with a sock.” My MIL got me a gift subscription for Christmas and it’s been really fun having a random pair of socks arrive each month in the mail. They have a sock club for boys, girls, women, and men. My one complaint is that for women all of the socks are above the ankle height — nothing lower — so keep that in mind if you know someone who prefers no-show socks like Bombas. (Has anyone tried the extreme no-show socks — Gekkos, I think?) A subscription to Say it With a Sock starts at $12 per month (for men and women).    Say it with a sock

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  1. Anonymous :

    Someone mentioned it in passing this morning – there are always those studies about how much income you need to be happy and how over a certain level, more money doesn’t add to happiness. The study comes out to the 75-95k range nationally and then adjusts upwards to 110-125k for NYC/DC (I think this study was done before SF grew like it did so these numbers may not apply to SF at all). What do you all think? In your lives has there been a tipping point where another raise or bonus was nice but it didn’t affect you one way or the other? And when did that happen in your lives/careers?

    • Anonymous :

      Concur. $65k in Austin a few years ago felt tight (SLs), but $130k in D.C. feels comfortable. The only thing a raise or bonus would do for me now is go toward my SLs – I’m able to go out of town a couple weekends a year and I finally bought a new car after years of worrying about my old, fully paid one – that’s good enough for me.

    • ~150k HHI in a LCOL with one kid. I live like a king and I’m not worried about money at all. I don’t think any more money than this would make a difference in my happiness level. I mean, it’s fun to dream about making 10 million dollars a year and sailing around the world on my mega yacht, but I listened to this episode of Hidden Brain recently about the fantastically rich and they sound way less happy than I am.

    • Anonymous :

      Caveat that I’m in a fairly low cost of living area, but our HHI is $150k (two adults, two kids) and I don’t feel like more money would make me happier. We save a lot and can afford pretty much everything we want. Obviously we could live on much less but I do feel like if our income was significantly lower we’d have to cut back on some things we really enjoy, like nice vacations. If we earned more, it would mostly just go in the bank which I suppose wouldn’t be a bad thing but wouldn’t increase my day-to-day happiness, because I already feel pretty secure about retirement and paying for college at our current savings level.

    • I have a HHI of $105K in a MCOL city, and I have one kid. I am much happier than I was when I was making $20K more but had terrible hours and a really stressful, negative work environment. At the same time, a $20K raise or even a $5K bonus would be enormously helpful and would definitely help with some financial stress.

      One thing that makes a huge difference is health/health insurance. My current job doesn’t have great benefits, and my family has some health issues, so we pay about $15K on health insurance premiums and OOP expenses each year. I know it could always be worse, but it feels like having good health insurance and/or lower health care costs would make things less stressful (or, as I mentioned above, a $20K raise).

    • 120K HHI in an EHCOL area. Increases would not make my day to day life much different but DH and I do worry about how we are ever going to afford a house in our city

    • Anonymous :

      80k + 20k child support with one kid in one of those VHCOL cities you mentioned. I think the numbers sound about right. I think another 10-25k a year would help me relax more about finances, and anything above that would just go to charity and savings. On my current income, I am able to afford a comfortable lifestyle and decent amount of savings, though not as much charitable giving as I would like. The additional fantasy money would go towards some nicer vacations, savings for a renovation, replacing the car in 5ish years. None of these things are even remotely needs, and are on the lower priority type of wants. That said, I live in a cheaper part of the city by choice, have no debt and my child support more than covers my relatively modest childcare costs. Most people in my geographic area are not as lucky.

    • Anonymous :

      My spouse will never be truly happy unless we have all the money we need for retirement and our kid’s college in the bank RIGHT NOW even though college is 6 years away and retirement is 20+ years away. The fact that we are on track to have the savings when we need them is not enough for him. So I guess it would take a few million dollars more per year for the next year or so?

      • Anonymous :

        I hear you. My husband is the same way. We have a toddler and $50k already saved for college, and no debt (even on our house) and he’s constantly nagging me not to spend money because “we have to save.” I liked his frugality when we met because we were both broke students and we really did need to skimp and save in order to have the future we want. But now we can clearly afford to loosen the purse strings a little bit, but he doesn’t feel that way and it’s been rough on our marriage.

        • Anonymous :

          I hear you.

          I grew up with parents identical to you and your husband with regard to this. My mother longed for quite a bit, and my father made us always feel wasteful. It affected me. I grew up with a complex about saving money, and guilt about spending it that is not very healthy. And it made my mother quite depressed and their marriage deteriorated.

          And then when they retired together after years of separation, she said….. “well, he was right…” as they had saved everything and had plenty of money and a worry free retirement ahead of them. But then she died suddenly, so no retirement, and he will die soon too. It is just very sad.

          Enjoy your life.

    • I was happy at 60k per year (as a resident physician) and now at 4x that (attending physician), I am the same amount of happy BUT feel much more secure/less anxiety in case of unexpected expenses (dog needs surgery) and am also planning for the future (maxing out retirement accounts, fully funded emergency fund, money saved away for future vacations). I grew up in a family that made half of my resident’s salary and I remember my parents being stressed out and thus highly irritable. There is an immense amount of pleasure I feel when I am able to pay for a mani/pedi or fancy coffee without having to worry that money would be better used elsewhere.

    • Anonymous :

      We recently made it over that line a few years ago rather suddenly after finishing degree programs. Our spending (and quality of life, to be honest) haven’t caught up to the new HHI yet, but this sounds about right to me. I keep catching myself reevaluating the way I used to do things as “the hard way” or “too cheap” or “not worth it” (from my more comfortable current perspective), and then I have to remind myself that I did not have the money back then.

  2. Lawyer on nonprofit board; board hat/lawyer hat :

    I’m likely going to join the board of a small nonprofit. I’m a lawyer with an active license, but I don’t currently practice or maintain malpractice insurance.

    Clearly, I see things through my experience as a lawyer. I’m trying to figure out where the line is between “board member who is also a lawyer” and “if you’re going to do this work, you’re going to have to take off your board hat, get a pro bono engagement letter and malpractice insurance.”

    In particular, a member of the board mentioned that the organization needs certain policies updated. I updated these kinds of policies to comply with new laws and best practices as part of my legal practice, though they’re also the kind of policies that consultants, insurance providers, etc. provide to clients (though they don’t always do as good a job as my colleagues and I did).

    Advice? Any recommendations for books/articles on this topic? It’s my first nonprofit board.

    If it matters, the organization isn’t a great candidate for pro bono services from my old firm and there’s almost zero potential for conflicts with past clients/potential future in-house employers.

    • Anonymous :

      Why doesn’t your nonprofit use its own lawyer?

      • Lawyer on nonprofit board :

        Cost—it doesn’t have the budget to get someone well qualified to do this kind of work.

    • I’d recommend you look into whether the board has a D and O policy and talk to the agent for that policy to make sure you are covered even if you are deemed to be providing legal advice to the Org. If you aren’t, then you need to request that they get you a malpractice policy too. Beware insured vs. insured exclusions too.

    • Coach Laura :

      On the board I’m on, our attorney/BOD member is covered by our D&O policy. He has reviewed and rewritten policies for us. He isn’t worried. You should talk to the Board of Director’s Directors and Officers insurer and present these questions to them and make sure you’re covered. Perhaps there is a rider that you would want or an additional malpractice policy.

    • Lawyer on nonprofit board :

      Thanks, all! I’ll check on the D&O.

  3. LA Real Estate Agent :

    Any recommendation for a real estate agent in LA, specifically west LA? We are first time home buyers, looking to buy a fairly modest condo. We mostly want the agent to be able to help us with all the logistics and knowing what to do when (paperwork, inspections, etc.) versus someone whose focus is taking us around to see properties/advising on the bidding process. This person would need to be OK with my husband and I taking a more active role in finding properties we are interested in and controlling bidding. We also don’t want pressure to look at more expensive properties that we want just because we can afford them. Thank you!

    • Anonymous :

      Not in LA, but every realtor I’ve ever dealt with loved it when you (as the client) take a more active role in the identifying properties part. Saves them all kinds of time; they still get the same commission.

      • LA Real Estate Agent :

        This is good to hear – I felt like we were being difficult with our last agent. She definitely did not like when we found properties, but the properties she showed us were not what we were looking for anyways (clearly outside our specifications). It was a contentious relationship, and we decided to end it and look for a new agent.

      • Anonymous :

        Really? This has not been my experience with realtors at all. I’ve worked with several and they were all annoyed when I them what properties I wanted to see. One of them told me point blank: “it’s my job to find the properties. Let me do my job.”

        • Anonymous :

          Same. And in my case when I did mention properties that my agent hadn’t mentioned to me, there was always a reason (needed too much work, etc) why. It wasn’t that the agent wasn’t aware of them, she just knew better.

          • Anonymous :

            We also found that sometimes agents will also exclude showing properties that won’t pay them (enough) commission.

        • LA Real Estate Agent :

          Thanks for this perspective. I think we’re going to be very direct with what we are looking for up front, and that we are also working with an attorney (my old agent didn’t like that either). If the person isn’t OK with it, I would prefer they tell us up front and we can find someone who is, or come up with some other solution.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Yeah mine was not happy when I was looking in a (relatively for my small / medium size city) more popular area and found a house myself that I knew would have a lot of interest when the open house turned out to be while she was on vacation. She was especially unhappy when I said I would be willing to put an offer in sight unseen since she couldn’t show it to me.

    • Anonymous :

    • Shananana :

      Not in LA, but bought in a crazy market last year and definitely did a lot of my own sourcing. I wanted someone to help with the process and did end up appreciating they were able to give advice on what work was doable and what would be more than I wanted to take on. I went with a younger (early 30s) agent who was still building a network, and she flipped houses herself on the side so had some really useful info on what was reasonable pricing and renovations. There was something about being closer to a peer (I’m a mid 30s single female), and not acting as a parent that really made a difference for me. If there is a facebook neighborhood or real estate network in the area you are looking, I would actually start there. I had posted looking for recommendations and she responded directly to me. I also had luck being able to tell pretty quickly at open houses if the agent was someone I would enjoy working with/would talk down to or try to take over and tell me what to do.

  4. NYC Cosmetic Surgeon :

    Recs for cosmetic surgeon that can do laser scar removal on POC? I am Indian and have lots of acne scars that I want gone but I also want someone who can work on my skin type without giving me keloids or darker scars.

    • Anon in Houston :

      No specific recommendation, but unless your issue is removal of a large keloid that will require surgery, you would probably do best first consulting a good cosmetics focused dermatologist. They won’t go straight to a more invasive route, but will help you find good solutions that steadily get more invasive if previous less invasive methods don’t work. For example, also as a POC with darker than tan skin, my derm always started me on OTC mederma for 6 weeks to 3 mths, then if that didn’t respond well, moved on to more high end or products that work through a different method, still all topical (think Lytera or carefully considered hydroquinone for more serious issues), before starting to talk about peels and laser skin treatments.

      In general, for skin and scarring related issues, I always recommend a POC dermatologist, or one that specifically states that they specialize in deeper skin tones and has examples on their website of patient results. I often find that dermatologists with fair skin don’t know much about the effects of lots of lasers on darker skin to adequately advise you (they are either ignorant of the effects or don’t know pros and cons enough so outright don’t offer certain treatments), nor do they have an appreciation for how dark discoloring can get or how horrifying hypo and hyperpigmentation can be when the result can be such a contrast to your skin tone.

    • have you looked into microneedling? That might be a good first step before going to the laser, which is tough with skintypes 4 and 5.

  5. Mrs. Jones :

    I got my dad a present of 9 fun socks a couple of years ago, and he still loves them. So I second this rec.

  6. Umbrella Insurance :

    I will likely post again in the morning, but we are in the process of purchasing an umbrella policy. Our options are to buy the insurance with our renters insurance carrier or our auto insurance carrier. Two questions:

    First, about how much is a $1M policy for a married couple? The two quotes are vastly different and wondering what people have paid.

    Second, was the process straightforward? It has thus far been very confusing and involved long conversations with agents that do not offer much clarity. Do I just need to find a new agent?

    • Anonymous :

      I think we pay $175 annually. Umbrella policies are cheap because the insurer doesn’t have to pay out on them very often. I find it very weird that the agent was confused. We pretty much just said “we want $1M umbrella” and they said “Ok! That’ll be $175 (or whatever it is).” I would get a new agent.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        I pay around $160 annually for a $1M umbrella policy. Keeping in mind, auto/home-owners/life polices are also with this company.

    • Anonymous :

      We pay ~$500 for $2M liability/$1M uninsured coverage.
      Was previously about ~$325 for $1M coverage but was increased due to being more comfortable with higher limit. Auto/Homeowners/Umbrella are all with the same company.

      With different quotes, you need to look closely at what coverages are included. We found those vastly different.

    • This is a great idea! I can get a bunch of silly sox for dad to wear and he probably will, exept when he goes up to Colombia University to teach. He says he does not want to look like an idiot with pink socks on! I said he would look distinguished! Anyway, we will see!

      As for the OP, Dad got me an umbrella policy for my apartement so that I can replace anything that break’s. I asked him how much he paid for it and he said not to worry about it b/c he did not know and that it was part of a package deal. I am having second thought’s about moving to the West side. There are financial issues, and I do NOT want to move to a place that is NOT even built yet, tho I DO want the place to be new when I move in b/c of all of the past issue’s I have had with mice and roaches. FOOEY! Dad is thinking of getting his deposit back, which he says is in the very high 6 figure’s! Dad says his first house after he got married to mom onley cost $46,000, so a deposit of 6 figures today is crazy, but Dad says that was 40 years ago, so times have changed. He also said that 30 years ago I did not have a big tuchus either. FOOEY on Dad for always bringing up my tuchus. He should know that I am sensitive about it and not being married and all, I want a guy who will accept me for what I am. He says for me to stop worrying and start exercising more. DOUBEL FOOEY on him!

  7. I think one’s personal history with money may also be a factor. DH and I both come from reasonably comfortable but not wealthy backgrounds. We both, long before we met, had periods of extreme financial hardship. I mean like not knowing how the next round of groceries would be paid for, turning on the heat in winter only enough to keep pipes from freezing, and so on. We currently live in one of the lowest cost of living areas in the country. For the two of us with no kids, a secure retirement and no debt but for a mortgage that is down to the low five figure range, it wasn’t until our HHI hit over 150k that we quit being squirrelly over money. Each set of parents thought a bit of hardship would be good for each of us. I think it warped our relationship with money and with life.

    • Anonymous :

      Interesting and I agree. I am single, no kids, age 40, and make $125k, MCOL city. Should be a fairly good salary–I like my job, have flexibility and am challenged at work. But, my parents thought a bit of hardship would be good for me, and i have never really been able to forget that lesson. I am incredibly practical with money, to the point that it probably makes me a boring person. I also can’t seem to chase the idea that I am single, have only one income to rely on, and will have to pay someone to take care of me when i am old and losing my mind. No amount of money feels like it will be enough. The “mark” of being single always makes me feel like i am significantly worse off, financially, then my peers. Two incomes, or the potential of two incomes, or the potential of someone else being able to cover for you if you can’t work for a period of time, makes a big difference to mentality.

      • I am also single, but try not to worry about it b/c financialy, Dad takes care of everything for now. My only concern is that Dad wont be around forever, and I need a man to take care of me after Dad is gone, which he says won’t be for along time, but you never know. Myrna’s dad was VERY young when he passed away, and it was a shock. That is why she does not trust men to much to be there for her, and she is very independent. I, on the other hand, rely on Dad for everything other then to write my briefs at work, b/c he is NOT admitted to the NY Bar, or in good standing like me. But I do need and want a man to do what he does for me, and I am looking for a husband to marry me soon so that we can have children and a place to live in Chapaqua. I do not even care about the amount of money he makes b/c I am making a lot of money now as a partner, so he would be mainly there to father our children and raise them while I was working, unless I left to become a judge or a law professor. So I am really NOT to demanding, I just want a guy who will respect me and NOT just expect me to have s-x every day as soon as I come home, like my ex did. FOOEY on that!

        But good luck to you. You sound smart, so you will have no trouble if you wait for the right guy to marry, like I am. YAY!!!

  8. Fashion Scavenger Hunt :

    Who wants to help me find a dress I saw on the “White House Intern” pictured at the bottom of this Slate article — white background floral shirtwaist with black piping:

    • This one is similar:

    • It reminds me of a modcloth dress from a few years ago — I also liked it at the time but was too much $$$. Sadly, I can’t find it on modcloth anymore or anything similar.

  9. Fashion Scavenger Hunt :

    Thanks Lemon! Love it but sadly too short for me.

  10. Anonymous :

    How tangible are the career benefits from service on a local non profit board? I already support the non profit’s work and can only justify the added time and financial commitment of board service if it helps my career (lawyer). Sorry if this sounds harsh but I want to extend myself carefully.

  11. Fashion Scavenger Hunt :

    Thanks for responding. As I was reading your comment a lady walked by wearing the dress!! Was too shy to inquire.

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