Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Catrin Dress

Blue Sheath Dress: Hobbs Catrin DressOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

I always forget about Hobbs, but they have some killer basics and not-so-basic items on deep discount right now. This pretty blue sheath dress is calling my name — I love the asymmetrical pleats, the non-clingy but fitted design, and the work-appropriate length and back. I’d wear it with a white blazer. It was $315 but is now marked to $190 on sale. Hobbs Catrin Dress

Here are a lower-priced option and plus-size alternative.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Make me an outfit! :

    This is a great dress!

    But, man, it is a base layer (to use my husband’s REI speak). I need a d*mn outfit. Can anyone else find and post a link to a jacket / cardi / something over top (no white blazers — I read and mark up so many documents that the right sleeve would not stay white for long — maybe a good black spring or transitional blazer or jacket or sweater jacket)?

    I am not a newscaster — I need something besides a sleeveless dress for work, esp. in March.

    • Anonymous :

      Exactly! Would it kill them to make this dress with short sleeves?

      • Based on the number of sleeveless dresses I see for sale I thought I was the only one!

      • From my embarrassing amount of time studying Claire Underwood style, they often add sleeves to the dresses for her to wear. Does anyone think that would be possible for a local seamstress/tailor to do?

        • Sounds tough to find the fabric for sleeves without buying second dress. (I’m definitely not an expert though.)

      • I HATE dresses with short sleeves. My office is cold! Short sleeves would never be enough to keep me warm. And it is a lot tougher to wear a jacket or cardi over a dress with short sleeves.

        I agree with you that some dresses should have short sleeves for those who want them. But don’t assume that all do

      • Try J McLaughlin for dresses with sleeves

    • Two Cents :

      Man, this dress is stunning. And I absolutely agree on the sleeved dresses issue, but in fairness, Hobbs has a fair number of sleeved dresses every season (also look at other UK brands, like Fold London and LK Bennett). I love, love, love all of their dresses. I wish they had brick and mortar stores in DC to try on their clothes, bc shipping is pricey to the US.

      • Anonymous :

        I love a sleeved dress but I really need an outer layer at work (regardless of season) b/c my office is freezing. A sleeve, in anything but a heavy wool, just isn’t warm enough. A spring-weight fabric with a jacket makes it a 3-season item for me (so a win), but the top layer is so tricky to find.

        Am hoping menopause may help me but in my family it doesn’t hit until very late (50s?).

        • Anonymous :

          I thought 50s was typical for menopause. Is that late?

          • SuziStockbroker :

            I think the average age of menopause is 51.

          • I think that the menopause is maybe 51 but the stuff leading up to it starts earlier (???). My people seem to go the fibroids –> D&C –> repeat –> hysterectomy route, so we really have no idea. But no one has had symptoms of menopause with the hot flashes.

        • Menopausal :

          Ah, nope, that won’t help. I’m still freezing all the time except when a hot flash hits, usually at about 3 am. Then I’m engulfed with flames for two minutes. Then back to freezing, but sweaty.

      • PSA, Rue La La has LK Bennett today, including some work appropriate dresses and separates.

    • In-House Europe :

      They do have similar dresses in their workwear section with sleeves, this one is actually under “occasionwear” and has a matching bolero, which makes me think it isn’t quite as work appropriate…

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I love Hobbs, I am wearing a Hobbs suit today, in fact. I generally have to have the hips taken in on their dresses, combined with the shipping and duty to Canada, it makes it pricey,

      But, love.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      Actually, it has a matching (blue) jacket. Will link below.

      • SuziStockbroker :

    • I’m not entirely sure why this is a complaint – you can’t throw a black or grey blazer on top of a blue dress? It doesn’t have to be a) white or b) this hard to throw on a blazer over a dress.

      Dress + blazer + necklace = outfit

      • It’s not a complaint, it’s a request. She would like suggestions for what to put on top of the dress. Yes, you can throw a regular blazer on, but this site is often a good resource for finding unique pieces. I imagine she was trying to find nice-looking jackets with interesting details or fits.

        Unfortunately, OP I don’t have any suggestions. I struggle with finding cute jackets and wind up wearing the same cardigan multiple days a week.

      • Well, there’s doing it and doing it well. I think the question was for options for #2.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        Although in theory this sounds so easy, I always seem to have trouble in practice with the necklines, fabrics or something else just not looking quite right together.

    • Jardigan from MM LaFleur. I get SO much use out of it.

    • I get what you’re saying, but there’s a market for this for at least some of us. It’s already so hot and humid here that my hand is slipping off my mouse. I’m firmly on Team Lots of Sleeveless Dresses so I don’t have wet underarms from March through October.

      • This is me too – and on top of living in a warm climate, I run hot – so even in the winter I’m in a sleeveless dress under my coat so that I don’t swelter once I get into my office. If you think it is tough buying spring/summer appropriate dresses with sleeves, try finding wintery dresses without.

    • I was in H&M yesterday and they had a surprisingly large selection of really lovely jackets, including a long light blue one in a gorgeous brocade fabric!

      • I have two H&M blazers that I love – a hot pink one with a flare back and a blush colored one that is a standard cut. I am going to have to go browse now . . .

      • Anonymous :

        H&M is my go-to place for blazers. Lots of cute styles, affordable, and they last at least as long as places like Ann Taylor/Banana etc.

  2. Sydney Bristow :

    This dress is gorgeous!

    Can anyone in Sacramento recommend a good food delivery service? A close family member is having a hysterectomy in a couple of weeks and I want to send her something. She and her husband have 2 young kids, so a place that I can get a gift card for kid friendly food that can either be delivered hot or somethings that just requires heating up would be ideal.

    I’m open to other suggestions for care package ideas. She already has my go to items of a Netflix subscription, kindle, and Texture subscription. They also have a housekeeper who comes somewhat regularly and are looking into hiring a nanny for a week or 2 while she recovers and her husband is working. Another family member will be there for about a week immediately after the surgery but can’t stay longer and there isn’t any family in the area. Any other ideas?

    • How about an electric tea kettle and an assortment of lovely teas? That seems quite comforting to me.


  3. Minnie Beebe :

    Wow, this is a lovely dress! And I’d never heard of Hobbs before, but they are now on my radar. It seems like a slightly more grownup version of Boden.

    • Yay, Kat — this is a new one for me. I totaly love the color, but agree with the other OP’s that even a cap sleeve would be better then none at all. But still, I love it and will mabye buy it or show Rosa!!!!

      I ate the rest of the chocolate cake last nite with Myrna. She made me finish it, b/c it was MOOSE and would get funky in my fridge with all of the garlickey stuff I have in there. But now I have to do 20000 step’s, dad says b/c he noticed that I slacked off this weekend. FOOEY! But it was ALL b/c of the Billeing and the fact that I had to host Grandma Leyeh, who now is up with Rosa and the Kid’s all day. We will see what THAT week of laying around does to Rosa’s tuchus! DOUBEL FOOEY!

      I have 28 new cases from the Supermarkit Guy’s to handel. Without Mason, I am doeing more work, but for the most part he was useless. I am still in the markit for a young asociate (male or female) with 2 year’s of WC / PI experence. If anyone in the HIVE has a qualified candidate, let me know. YAY!!!

      • Ellen, thank goodness you are back! For a while, we didn’t know what happened to you. But at least you have not changed too much–still eating chocolate and getting scolded for having a big tuchus! I am very much the same as you, Ellen. Try and take it a little easier, because you are only young once. You don’t want to wake up at age 50 and find out the only thing you really have is a large bank account!

    • I’d say Hobbs is a slightly smarter version of Boden maybe, with different target markets (Boden is traditionally middle class and can clothe your whole family while Hobbs is a bit sharper ime)

  4. Terminal illness, bereavement and supporting partners :

    Advice needed: My husband found out last night that his sister has terminal cancer (not much they can do, maybe two years). Obviously we’re both gutted but as someone without siblings / close family beyond my mom and dad, I’m struggling to wrap my head around what he’s going through and how best to support him. If it was a sudden death, I feel like I’d be better equipped but who knows.

    To make things more complicated, he has Aspergers and struggles with expressing negative emotions… he’s fine with positive ones but seems less able to express sadness, anger, frustration. He didn’t know what to say- I told him that I thought he should tell her that he didn’t know what to say but he loved her and is thinking of her but frankly, I have no clue.

    Any words of wisdom? Recommendations for dealing with a prolonged illness like this?

    • I think giving him room to feel whatever he feels (which will run the gamut). There is no right answer here. They have a lot of information to process so it will take some time. Hospice is usually a good resource.
      If you are looking for some thematic reading, I found these two books comforting when living through the slow decline of a family member and not being sure what to say. Being Mortal and The End of Your Life Book Club. Both are memoirs of sorts. Not every experience is the same of course so YMMV

    • As an adult, having a sibling die is the same or worse than having a parent die, so you can still imagine what he’s going through. If he’s more prone to it anyway, help him focus on the positive – plan to spend a lot of special time with this sister over the next months so that he will have strong and happy memories to keep even once she is gone. My father lost his sister when he was 40 and she was 33 while we were all on holiday together (she died of a chronic, but not terminal illness). Our family celebrates her birthday every year and every single year everyone comments that they are so grateful the whole family got it together to have that last trip together. She got married the year before in a mountain city, and the whole family travelled to be there, so those are also special memories and photographs that give my father and my grandparents a lot of comfort.

    • My fiance’s mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer a couple of months ago. My fiance is very stoic when it comes to negative emotions. He tends to bottle it up and then it comes out when he’s drunk or emotional about something unrelated. I’ll be watching this thread for more advice, but ime, you just have to be there. He will experience a range of emotions. Most days he won’t want to think about it. Then when he does again he’ll grieve like the day he found out.

      Encourage him to spend time with her. My fiance isn’t a planner and can be a touch flaky, so if he expresses interest in seeing his mom then I make room in our calendar and encourage him to use that time to visit. We also pick her up little things more than we did before. If we happen to see a funny card or a comfy scarf or something tasty she can eat, we get it for her and drop it off. The most important thing for her is to have her family around her but to not be treated like she’s sick. Hugs and good luck.

  5. Legally Brunette :

    Any suggestions on a yummy food delivery service in Boston for a new mom? I’d like to get her a gift certificate. No dietary restrictions.

    • We’re about to get our new Boston mom friend a GrubHub gift certificate. We used to live in Davis Square and they covered a ton of restaurants in the Boston/Cambridge/Somerville area.. they even are good out in the ‘burbs where we are now!

      • Thanks! I’m actually interested in a service that makes the food themselves (as opposed to takeout from various restaurants). I know The Foodery is one in Boston but the reviews seem mixed.

    • When we had a new baby friends got us a few weeks from this service:

      It was overall yummy!

      • I should add, what I really liked about this idea is that they give you a menu and you can order a la carte, so not as much wasted food as another service we got that had set meals that inevitably included something one of us didn’t like/ want. They also had things on the menu like granola, which was awesome for a new mom needing healthy snack food.

    • I’m a new mom in the Bay Area, and friends got me gift cards to Munchery and Sprig.

  6. Any advice on washing a synthetic blazer? I’ve washed/hung dry the matching pants multiple times with no issue. It’s a Tahari asl blazer, if anyone has specific experience.

    • I’ve done this with blazers that are synthetic/cheaper. Not sure I’d be ballsy enough to do it with something I invested in or really loved, but I’ve had no problems with washing a variety of blazers, including a Tahari blazer with a poly lining.

    • Baconpancakes :

      It will shorten the life of the blazer, but I do it with my synthetic Nordstrom Rack CK blazer all the time. Eventually the fabric will look extremely matte, and likely it will catch lint more, so you might want to treat it with anti-static spray. I wash it the same as my pants – wash on gentle cycle, smooth it/stretch it gently a little to get rid of any wrinkles, hang to dry on a plastic suit hanger (wider hanger than normal).

  7. Posted this late yesterday when not many people read it but I’m still interested — is there an amount/level after which you become “comfortable” with your retirement savings esp. in your 30s? I don’t mean “comfortable” as in — I’m all set, I’m stopping. I mean “comfortable” as in — I have 100k or 200k or whatever at age 30, if I keep contributing at my current level or even if I have to stop for a few yrs, I’ll be ok. I know many people on other sites talk about how they are so comfortable bc they have 750k at age 35 (exaggerating but you get the point). But I’m wondering what those levels are for regular professionals. I was surprised that the few people who responded said they’d never be comfortable no matter what. That seems like an overkill to me too — if I end up with a million or 2 at age 50, you bet I won’t be stressing about it all that much (will still contribute but will be comfortable that contributing for15 more yrs, I’ll be perfectly fine).

    • Sorry, I’m in the “never” camp. As too many people found out when the market crashed, that $2 million cut be cut in half (or worse) if it dips.

      I likely will never be comfortable it confident in my amount saved. But I am admittedly paranoid.

      • Right — it can be cut in half, as it happened in 08-09. I’m pretty sure everyone has recovered since then, even retirees. Of course you can’t time whether that kind of crash happens when you’re 30 or 64.5 and about to retire, so I’ve always thought the key is to have a few yrs of living expenses in cash or a money market or something as you get close to retirement. So if it crashes right as you’re about to retire or have retired, you do NOT have to sell and lock in the loss bc you can leave your 401k alone for a few yrs and live off your liquid savings until the 401k recovers. I also think this is why you’re told to diminish your % in stocks yearly after a certain age so that these shocks won’t lead to you losing half your net worth.

        So I don’t get all these “never” responses — you can financially plan for things in such a way that you can be comfortable with your progress w/o being complacent enough to stop saving.

        • Some have not recovered at all, depending on how their money was allocated.

          And while the market usually cycles, if we hit a nice strong recession, it could take a decade or more to recover.

          I hear where you’re coming from, and if you feel comfy with how you’ve planned, rock on! More power to you. I am strongly in the paranoid “I’ll-always-save-the-maximum” camp.

        • My parents have not recovered from that crash. And my dad is working at 68, when he planned to retire at 65, as a result of it. So, count me in the “never satisfied” camp.

    • I’m 26 with no more student loans, $70k in a 401k and $15k in my emergency fund. As long as I am “on track” in terms of trying to max out my 401k each year and stash away $8-9k for a down payment I am not actively anxious or worrying about my savings. I agree that you should never stop saving but I definitely don’t really worry about it day to day or actively when I’m on this plan

      FWIW, I live in the very HCOL bay area right now but plan to move in 6-7 years back to my hometown of Chicago. I figure if I can buy a house in the semi-burbs or a condo downtown (which you can still definitely do for $250-400k depending on what you want), have some retirement savings, and keep working the way I hope to then this is the best prep I can do so why be anxious about it? I am also single and planning for being financially stable all the way through to retirement while single though I would like to have a partner someday.

    • So I’m kind of in the “never” camp, too . . but in a recent discussion with my financial advisor, he explained that we’re aiming for retirement savings to give us a “100% funded, assuming worst case scenario — e.g., no social security in 40 years, little reduction in our spending habits, etc.” retirement — and that below that level is the “less-than-perfect, still-ok, not-eating-ramen-every-night-during-retirement.”

      I suppose there may be people who have very aggressively saved for retirement as young professionals and may be in the “I’m good” boat, but considering that many people in their 30s are paying off student loans, paying for daycare, etc., it seems like it’d be a very small percentage. Still, there is probably a much bigger percentage of that group who are at the “doing OK” level.

      Hope that helps?

    • Veronica Mars :

      No, probably not. But I do feel more comfortable since I started in my early twenties, so the ball’s rolling in terms of compound interest.

    • Spirograph :

      I’m in the “never” camp, too. I started early, have a good chunk saved now, and have a savings plan and investment asset allocation that I am reasonably confident will result in sufficient $$ for the retirement my husband and I want, but I don’t think there’s ever going to be a point where I look at my account balance and say “phew, now I can relax!”

    • I think you aren’t getting the responses you had hoped for because this is kind of a crazy question…..

      People live totally different lives, with different expenses, standard of living, and different long term goals for retirement. Some of us will keep working long into retirement… many by choice. Some of us live very simply and can be comfortable on 30k or less per year in retirement, while some of us will have very luxurious interests and habits and want 200k per year. Some will want to stay living in Manhattan while some will move to a small Southern coastal town with low property tax. Some of us will retire with homes paid off while some of us will be lifelong renters. Some will be careful about downsizing and retire to a small easy to maintain apartment, while others will have a goal to continue to live in their large house(s) with property taxes of 20k+ per year per property, and will need to hire a ton of help to clean/take care of lawn and shoveling etc…

      Some of us will lose our spouses or never marry, while others will have the luxury of a dual income retirement (and do not underestimate the luxuriousness of this bonus) or will get divorced and have a big, unplanned setback. Some of us will have kids and some will not. Kids can either be a plus or a minus in your financial security and retirement goals.

      And then the red flag of health…… Some of us will be hit with catastrophic illness etc.. and have healthcare needs and expenses that are currently beyond your wildest expectations. This is what my parents had, after a lifetime of good health. Can any of us afford 24hr care in our homes for years… decades…. or to pay for a decent assisted living indefinitely?

      And the income…… It is one thing to have a million or two saved up (which isn’t that much these days…. at all…..), but honestly, I’d much rather have a pension of 40k per year guaranteed and health care. So those who work in amazing government jobs who stick it out long enough to get this security are golden in my book. My friends who are high school teachers in a good suburb where I live and government lawyers/judges (in California at the moment) have the most amazing retirements that it makes me want to cry….

      So here are my numbers. I’m 45, and I have about 900k saved up in a combination of retirement accounts and brokerage accounts. I live very frugally, and will live similarly in retirement, in a small 1 bedroom apartment. And I still wake up in the night in a cold sweat, as my work path is very erratic and much of my $$ is from an inheritance. So past performance does not reflect future returns.

      But I also learned early in life that life can be unpredicatable, save save save, live simply because most important things don’t cost that much money….. So while it is important to plan and save, still make time (more precious than money) to do the important things now. Be with and love your family and friends, travel, and create memorable experiences — because many of us will not make it to retirement. That’s just the way it is. As my mother learned…. after working 35 years in a brutal law firm, and then being diagnosed with metastatic cancer the year after retiring.

      You never know.

      • I think this is a beautiful response, life.

        For a more substantive contribution to the conversation, I see people throw around numbers on here about being 27 and having $100k in retirement accounts, and sometimes feel awful about myself: I’m 27 and just cracked $10k. I know it’s peanuts compared to what some people have, but it still feels like a major achievement for me, and I don’t know how I could have saved a significant amount more without compromising my ability to live a life that’s about more than pinching pennies. I started a Roth my first year out of college when I was making $20k a year and have faithfully contributed ever since…but my income has been $20k, $21k, ~$15k for two years (fellowship abroad + grad school), $35k, and now $40k. This is the first job where I’ve ever had a match. Unless I get a PhD, I can expect to top out around $80k.

        I live frugally and know that I can survive on $20k per year if I have to, because I’ve done it before. I’ll keep saving for retirement as long as I’m working because duh, but there are also other things that are important to me in life: buying a house, traveling, seeing my friends, having a dog. Maybe I’m being hopelessly optimistic and you’re all going to smack me in the face, but I’m doing the best I can right now and that’s going to have to be enough.

        • emeralds,

          Your ability to life frugally is quite important and a great life skill to have and use along the way. Remember a dollar saved is more valuable than a dollar earned because a dollar earned is taxed. Also, some people have higher net worth because they did not have to pay for their education or house down payment.

    • DH and I have a combined $300k and we are 31. About $100k of that is Roth, so in practice the value is a bit higher (we won’t pay taxes again on it). We have about $150k in non retirement savings, but we have 100k of that earmarked for a major home renovation we are about to pull the trigger on.

      We saved like rabid squirrells when we were in our early 20s, throwing as much into Roth vehicles as we could because we were in a nice low tax bracket while one then the other went through grad school. WE didn’t save the max in 401ks, but tried our best and always did at least enough to get the employer match.

      We now each max our 401ks, and contribute to our individual IRAs. I would say at this point we are on cruise control, in that if we keep saving at this rate, we can hit our personal goals.

      Outside of retirement vehicles we, in good times, save about 75% of my take-home income while taking vacations/buying toys with the other 25%. I am currently not working full time (between jobs/having a baby/doing a few big consulting projects) so we are saving to retirement and then whatever income comes in from consulting goes into our savings and skimping on the vacations/toys/new furniture etc.

    • DH and I have a combined $300k and we are 31. About $100k of that is Roth, so in practice the value is a bit higher (we won’t pay taxes again on it). We have about $150k in non retirement savings, but we have 100k of that earmarked for a major home renovation we are about to pull the trigger on.

      We saved like rabid squirrells when we were in our early 20s, throwing as much into Roth vehicles as we could because we were in a nice low tax bracket while one then the other went through grad school. WE didn’t save the max in 401ks, but tried our best and always did at least enough to get the employer match.

      We now each max our 401ks, and contribute to our individual IRAs. I would say at this point we are on cruise control, in that if we keep saving at this rate, we can hit our personal goals.

      Outside of retirement vehicles we, in good times, save about 75% of my take-home income while taking vacations/buying toys with the other 25%. I am currently not working full time (between jobs/having a baby/doing a few big consulting projects) so we are saving to retirement and then whatever income comes in from consulting goes into our savings and skimping on the vacations/toys/new furniture etc.

      We don’t count it as retirement money, but we are now finally in our “forever” home that will be forever until the kids leave for college. At which point we will cash out and move somewhere cheaper, leaving us with well over $500k in the bank and a smaller retirement-friendly house we can buy in cash.

    • Diana Barry :

      I am pretty comfortable with where my DH and I are right now – he is 40, I am 37, we have $1M retirement.

    • I don’t think the question is crazy at all. I know I breathed a sigh of relief when I hit 100k probably around age 30-31 bc I had something for retirement which could grow into a decent amount though not millions. The first 100k was a long slow slog esp since I graduated school at 26 and worked in an industry with no match. Now working towards 200k and it seems easier probably bc there’s compounding and bc I now have a 7% match. I tend to think I’ll be in – set it and forget it mode (18k + match) – after 300k and won’t feel so inclined to check balances all the time.

      For the people saying nothing is ever enough bc things happen – sure – but I am doing by my part by maxing out and will deal with things as they come; worrying doesn’t do anything.

  8. Pregnancy skincare q :

    Anyone have suggestions for skincare during pregnancy? I usually use a lot of retinol, so I’m looking for night cream, serums, eye creams for sensitive skin that are safe during pregnancy. Also any acne suggestions too – unfortunately I’m breaking out, which isn’t something I’m used to. thanks so much!!

    • Anon in NYC :

      My derm recommended the Belli line.

      • Maddie Ross :

        I used and like the Belli face wash and acne treatment. I hated (hated!) the lotion. It was runny and didn’t feel moisturizing. I ended up using plain old Oil of Olay face lotion with SPF instead.

    • Skincare recommendations :

      SW basics! All of the products have less than ten ingredients and are great. Also, for acne prone skin a good clay mask to use is the Aztec clay mask mixed with a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar-messy but worth it!

  9. So an update on the grocery delivery–my first order arrived last night and it was magical and I no longer have any guilt.

    I use Shipt–I placed my order and when I wanted it delivered after work, and poof! It was dropped off right when I wanted. I was gleeful.

    For fellow grocery-haters, check it out. It makes it really easy and you can pay/tip online.

    • It’s so nice to have the option! I live in an area where Instacart is available and while I don’t use it for regular weekly shopping, being able to get groceries every 1-2 months on the one weekend that we can’t find the time to get to the store is indeed magical!

    • Darn! Not available in my city. Thanks for the review though!

    • Midwest Mama+ :

      I don’t know where you’re located, but in my Midwest city, Hy-Vee grocery store will deliver groceries (for free if you spend at least $100). I tried it recently, as a mom with a young kiddo who HATES grocery shopping, and it was magical. Absolutely no guilt here.

      • Hy-Vee is the BEST. A lot of grocery stores do delivery and it’s generally cheaper than things like InstaCart and Shipt, but it’s typically not free even if you spend $100+.

      • I have so much love for Hy-Vee delivery. It’s only $5 or so if you don’t spend $100, which is still cheaper than whatever I would have impulse purchased at the store.

      • Anon-Midwest :

        +1 for HyVee

      • Moonstone :

        The thing I miss most about Iowa is Hy-Vee chicken salad.

      • Oh, I am a Hy-Vee Aisles evangelist. I have even convinced my low-cost grocery-shopping working-mom coworker to try the “expensive” store because she can have things delivered.

    • I’ve never heard of this company, but services like it are available in many places. Check with whatever your local grocery store is. Giant has delivery (free with only $30 I think); Harris Teeter won’t deliver but you can order online and they’ll have it waiting for you to pick up.

  10. Our accountant just told us that we owe about $65,000 in total to the IRS and our state. I’m just in shock, and we’re going to discuss this with him to try to figure out if this is accurate. We expected to owe because we always do, but expected something much much lower. Also, we would have to go on some sort of payment plan because we just don’t have that kind of money, and we would probably need to dramatically upend our life to pay this (move-and-find-a-new-daycare-for-our-kid-level). Would you call a second accountant as a check on the first accountant? Any other suggestions?

    • Wow. I would ABSOLUTELY get a tax specialist to review the first accountant’s work. That’s a lot of money to owe if you’ve been paying taxes all along (I’m assuming you’re employed and not a freelancer and have to pay estimated taxes–that may be a different story!).

      • Yes, both of us are employed full time and are paying taxes. There are some complicating factors (stock awards and stock sales in the past year), but we were expecting something more in the $15-20,000 range.

        • Yeah, my husband and I are both professionals, making good money and don’t have any extra withholdings each year. We tend to pay about 20K in federal taxes (no state income tax), and that is with some stock awards and sales each year. A second opinion absolutely can’t hurt.

        • Just wow. That’s a lot of money. I mean, it is possible you do really owe that due to income from stock sales, but definitely get a second opinion.

        • I would first ask the accountant if they are sure that is accurate and wasn’t a mistake, and then go get a second opinion ASAP. Any chance you didn’t give them some piece of paperwork that would make a big difference, like your mortgage interest, etc?

          Is this all based on this year, or is this possibly due to back taxes from a previous year being not correct, or due to owing a big estimated quarterly payment?

        • lost academic :

          Stock sales got us one year. I let my husband handle it at the time because he assured me he had it covered, but he didn’t fully understand and we paid nearly 20K extra that year. But it was real.

    • Holy [email protected] We typically owe $15K and I complain loudly about that.
      Definitely get a second opinion from an experienced practitioner who can help you negotiate a payment plan. Definitely worth the money to do so. Good luck.

      • I honestly didn’t know people conplained this much about taxes. Withhold more if you owe every year or make a savings account just for taxes. I get being surprised when it’s more than you thought it would be but most of you (from the finance postings) are in the top 1% of the us. (450k a household)

        • I’ll admit I’m a bit shocked that this many people owe. Do you have accountants or financial advisers? they should be able to advise you about how much you should have to withhold each month to avoid having to owe money at tax time.

          • It’s actually extremely common and frankly advantageous to the taxpayer to owe. There’s no penalty for owing at tax time (for normal employees with W-2s, I understand it may be different for freelancers and those who own a business). It may be fun to be like “wooohoo I got a refund” but if you’re getting a refund, you’ve given the government an interest-free loan. You SHOULD be owing, and most people have a rough idea of what they owe so it’s not this terrifying, mysterious thing you can’t plan for. Most high earners know roughly what they’ll owe and plan for it (this person who owes $65K is obviously an exception).

          • Same here, but perhaps I am naive about things like this? The only time I have ever owed taxes was when I was self-employed.

            It’s mind boggling to me to owe this much each year when you aren’t self-employed! But then again, I am one of the folks who doesn’t mind the gov’t holding a bit of my own money for me . . .

          • I don’t mind owing, but thousands?

            I don’t get a refund either, but I do extra withholdings so that I don’t owe and I thought that was what most did (No judgment! I was just surprised)

          • Anon at 11:38 is not correct. The penalty for owing above $1000 applies regardless of whether you’re W-2, 1099 or self-employed. There is a safe harbor that will get you out of the penalty if you withheld at least 100% of the prior year’s tax (110% if above a certain level of income), which is why many W-2 earners will not be subjected to the penalty.

          • Well, it’s hard to hit it exactly on the nose so that you owe nothing and get refunded nothing, and many people would rather owe a few thousand than get a refund of a few thousand come tax time (keep in mind that for most of the incomes here, a few thousand is a small portion of the total tax bill; I get that if you make $50K a few thousand would be a staggering amount come tax time). I’m married but withhold at the higher single rate so that we only owe a little come tax time, but we still owe something every year. I could bump up my withholding but I don’t know the exact amount and I would rather just owe ~$2K, which is something I know about and can plan for rather than run the risk of giving the government a free loan.

          • lost academic :

            Many many many people prefer to owe. Why give the government an interest free loan of your money, they say. I’d prefer not to owe but I see the point and at the higher incomes that people around here have, it makes more financial sense.

        • complainer :

          Because that is a LOT of money. My husband and I are junior associates in big law and we have a “high income” (top 1% in our age group, top 3% nationwide), but we are also 27 years old with $200K in debt in the highest COL city in the country. We maxed out our withholdings and we’re still going to pay $12K in taxes. We are in a great situation (living well below our means, 50K savings emergency fund and about the same in other investments)–plus, we created a savings account just for taxes, so it’s not a surprise–but the taxes are still a LOT of money for us to pay when we are trying to save and start a family and pay off debt. We won’t be able to buy a house for at least 5-7 years even if we stay in these jobs billing 2000+ hours a year.

          I’m not saying that we aren’t fortunate to have high incomes, and I don’t think that’s what Ace is saying either, but taxes are

          So. Complain away, Ace. I’m listening.

          • Your salary is I just don’t understand people who don’t realize how great they have it.

          • 31% effective tax rate this year. I’m right there with you Ace and complainer.

          • Count me in as shocked that people complain about paying taxes. I also have a 30ish percent effective tax rate, which is totally fine because my family makes a ridiculous amount of money compared to the vast majority of working Americans. We pay our taxes, and after that, we still have more than enough money left over to live on (and so does anyone else who is in our tax bracket, I don’t care how HCOL your city is or what your student loans are). We have to pay for government services somehow, and this is how.

          • complainer :

            Anonymous at 11:49–I acknowledged how fortunate we are to have our incomes, but they come at a huge emotional/physical cost too. I earn every penny in my paycheck. I’m well aware how “great” I have it–I came from a family that lived from paycheck to paycheck–and how challenging, too.

            Sarabeth: maybe we should lower the government expenses, then.

        • Agree, we make about 400k between the two of us and pay THROUGH THE NOSE in taxes. But we generally break even or sometimes get a slight refund at tax time because I am paranoid about high tax bills and therefore adjust withholding.

          We both withhold at the single rate, and one of us takes $500 extra out per paycheck. We figured this out without an accountant but have a relatively straightforward situation- two high, but predictable, incomes.

          • I can’t with this site anymore. You are not paying through the nose. You have higher household income than 99 percent of the country. You pay 33 percent. You pay only 5 percent of your salary more in taxes than someone who makes a little over 1/3 of that. It’s like listening to people complain about the payments on their bentleys.

          • AnonMoreTaxes :

            I am also a high-earner, pay a ton in taxes, and am frustrated – but for a different reason. Why the heck isn’t my tax money going towards basic services (healthcare, universal paid parental leave, subsidized higher education, etc)? I would happily pay MORE in taxes if i thought it was going somewhere beneficial to society rather than, i dunno, halliburton and boondoggles and studies about why people dont like eating X vegetable….

            Signed, a 1%er who feels the Bern.

          • I generally take the Oliver Wendell Holmes-inspired view that, while I like spending my pay, taxes are the price we pay for civilized society, and I like civilized society more than shoes. But I will say that I was pretty floored at how much my taxes went down when I had kids and bought a house. Renting non-parents are not getting any favors, which is frustrating for many who aspire to be those things the IRS will reward them for being (parents, homeowners).

          • I’m with kc esq and OWH. While I am in favor of progressive taxation in principle, the way the deductions and exemptions favor a very specific lifestyle was really frustrating when I didn’t fit those categories. Being a high earner is one of the worst places to be *strictly from a taxation perspective;* the “real” 1% is not paying anywhere near a 33% tax rate; their effective tax rate is usually much, much lower because of capital gains, etc. (Technically no one’s tax rate is 33%; that’s just the highest marginal rate.) Psychologically, paying 6-figures worth of income taxes feels like paying through the nose, even if you know it’s only X% of your higher-than-most income.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 to kcesq and Anon at 12:45. I know I’m more fortunate than most, but it feels a little bit like adding insult to injury when I pay $10k/yr more than someone with a house or kids. I’d love to have those things, but I haven’t met anyone to have kids with, and I don’t have my down payment fund because I’m paying off the $200k of student loans that got me to this income level. What is it about my lifestyle that is so horrific policy-wise that I don’t “deserve” the same tax breaks that others are apparently worthy of? (to clarify, I’m in the camp that all of these tax expenditures need to go rather than handing out more to appease everyone)

          • Anonymous :

            Lol universal healthcare, can we start with the basics like drinkable running water for everyone?

    • It certainly doesn’t hurt to get a sepcnd opinion. But you owe a lot because you make a lot- if that helps to put a positive spin on it at all.

      • This. You owe a lot apparently because you made a lot of money selling stock. It’s a problem because you seemingly went ahead and spent all of that money, plus your 450k income, without setting enough aside to meet your tax obligations. Needing a payment plan is absurd. I hope it is a calculation error but it doesn’t seem crazy to me.

        • Oh wait sorry I’m combining two posters! Ignore this!

        • We don’t make 450k, that was someone else. We did calculations that we believed to be reasonably accurate and set aside money for that amount. We paid taxes on the stock when it first vested and again with long term cap gains when we cashed it out, and still set aside tens of thousands of dollars on top of that. We expected to owe money but it’s not absurd to not have an additional 65k on top of all of that.

          • I guess I disagree. You made money on the stock so you needed to make sure you had enough- how much did you make when you cashed it out?

          • How much did you set aside? At your income bracket, you would likely have to set aside 25-35%

          • We set aside about 20% in one lump sum, so I understand owing more on top of that (and we have a separate tax savings amount that we set aside every month, so we thought all of our bases would be covered). We thought we were planning reasonably well and it’s just the sheer amount that is shocking.

          • I would’ve set aside half until tax time- sorry I don’t have sympathy that you owe 65k on 200k or whatever it was

          • Ha, yeah, we set aside 50% for taxes. 39% at the lowest. But we are in a high tax bracket – welcome!

          • So I have heard (but don’t know because we haven’t done our taxes yet) that there was recently a change to the way RSUs are reported when you sell them. Typically, when RSUs vest the employer sells a portion of the RSUs to cover the tax obligation, which results in your basis in the remaining shares being the value of the shares on the day it vested. However, the form the brokerage account sends will show the basis in the shares as $0 since you didn’t pay anything for them and there’s supposed to be a way when filing your taxes to indicate the correct basis. A competent tax accountant should know about this, but if you really think the amount is higher than it should be is it possible they missed this? I should caveat this with the fact that I am neither an accountant nor a tax professional, but it’s something I was told I need to be careful to report correctly this year since it’s the first time I’ve sold company stock.

          • Thanks, anon123. That’s really helpful. I will mention it to my accountant.

          • This is true. You have to note the correction when filing. Your accountant should be on top of this, though (and if s/he’s not, you definitely need a new accountant).

          • OCAssociate :

            +1 to anon123 at 12:30 – your accountant needs to know how to properly report the basis so you’re not double-taxed for these types of sales. I’m not an accountant, just have the same issue with our own taxes.

    • What was the tax advice you got when selling the stock?

    • lucy stone :

      Holy Hell. My husband is self-employed and we make the estimated payments but usually still owe between $5-10k. A number like that would cause me to stroke out. Yes, check with a second accountant for sure.

    • Have you looked at the tax return yet? Make sure the stock cost basis was listed correctly on Schedule D.

      My husband gets stock as part of his w-2 compensation. The day he gets it he sells about 40% of it to pay tax. That way there are no capital gains (because the stock doesnt have a chance to increase in value, the cost basis is the same as the sales price). 20% is insufficient, especially when you are getting tens of thousands of dollars of stock.

      If you really do owe that much, you can set up a payment plan with the IRS. And going forward, obviously you know this now, but if you are going to have a big year with getting stock compensation and then turning around and selling it, you need to talk to an accountant ahead of time to figure out the tax consequences.

    • Definitely get a second opinion. Also, your company may have a department to help with taxes related to stock grants. We cashed in a bunch of stock last year (granted by my husband’s company) for a few large purchases/investments. When we originally did our taxes we owed $35k. After some consultation with the people at husband’s company, we’re down to $10k. That’s much more in line with what we expected.

  11. How much do you normally expect to owe? Sorry I don’t have any actual advice for you, but I am also shocked that we owe about 10k this year (which, I know, is peanuts to the number you’ve posted) so am trying to get a sense of what is “normal”. Is this bc of the AMT? Or is it because we are married? We also had a child last year, which I thought would help, but do not generally withhold anything on top of what are employers withhold.

    • I posted above. Husband and I make roughly 450K combined, have two kids in daycare, own a home, and don’t do any extra withholding. I think we paid 21K in federal taxes this year.

      • JJ: I hope you don’t; mind me asking :Are you paying 21K total in federal taxes or $21k additional at filing, after ordinary withholding? I ask because your numbers make me believe that my tax preparer is doing something very wrong ( something I have suspected anyway). Thanks!

        • Our employers have standard withholdings, but we don’t add any extra withholdings on our W-4. We just account for a large tax bill and large property tax bill each year, and would rather have that money on hand.

      • This has to be 20k above your employers’ withholdings, right?

      • Wait what? You make nearly half a million dollars a year and you pay LESS THAN 5% in taxes annually? That can’t possibly be right.

        • ^This. I was assuming the 21K was on top of employer withholdings. If you paid just 21K total, then yes, 65,000 in owed taxes makes complete sense to me.

      • JJ is not the OP who owes $65K. Reading comprehension fail, you guys.

    • We’ve owed ever since we got married and it has typically ranged from about 8k-20k. I would be perfectly happy with 20k this year! (Well, you know. Not HAPPY, but not surprised). My salary dropped this past year, so we were hoping that it would reduce how much we owed, but perhaps not due to the stock awards/sales. Right now I’m hoping that there’s a simple error in the taxes.

    • We owed ~$25K the year we got married (with a combined income of about $200K, no kids, no home ownership or other major deductions). We changed both our withholdings to “married but withhold at higher single rate” and now we typically get a little back or owe very little ($1K or $2K at most either direction).

    • Yeah, I question that. If you make 450K and only pay 21K in federal taxes, something is wrong…I was assuming that was above the employer withholdings

    • Just some numbers- our AGI was about 300k this year. We are getting $400 back from the Feds and $3000 back from the state. We got hit hard with the AMT this year (2 kids, high property taxes). Our tax liability is about $58k (would have been $51 without that dang AMT), so we get a little bit back since we paid about $59k.

      • I must be doing something wrong: 2015 AGI of approx. $210k, paid $51k in federal taxes and $14K in state taxes (property taxes paid separately). No refunds.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m the poster above. Are you married? The numbers above are for married-filing-jointly.

          We have 2 kids and high property taxes (15k) and lots of mortgage interest (~18k), but end up paying the AMT rate instead. so maybe it’s that for you, your liability > the AMT rate whereas ours was not?

          We pay additional state tax, don’t have the # in front of me but it’s a state with a flat rate.

    • Having a child doesn’t really help higher income people. Once you have multiple children it may help slightly. For each child there is a $4k reduction in taxable income, but most credits, etc are phased out by the time you get to a higher income level.

      One thing I’m always harping on (I’m a delight at cocktail parties) is maxing out your dependent care FSA. Put 5k into that thing and have the 4k exemption, and then your one kid reduces your taxable income by 9k.

      • Is that something your employer has to offer or can you just open one? I’d never even heard of this (I don’t have kids yet though).

        • Anonymous :

          I think your employer typically has to be the one to offer it.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, your ER has to have. And if you’re the business owner (i.e., a partner in a firm), you can’t have one. Which totally sucks.

          • Anonymous :

            And if you are a highly compensated employee you can only put aside $2k.

          • To Anonymous at 5:14 –

            FWIW, the cap on HCEs only applies if your employer’s plan fails the nondiscrimination test, or if your employer imposes a cap on HCEs in expectation of failing the test. So whether there is a cap, and how low the cap is, is highly dependent on where you work. At my employer, there is no cap – but that’s because most of the HCEs are males with stay-at-home wives; therefore, they don’t use the dep FSA, and we don’t fail the nondiscrim test. So the few HCEs who do use the dep FSA can contribute the full $5k.

  12. But seriously though :

    How are you supposed to get any work done when you randomly come across a posting for your own job? I am 100% certain it’s for my job. I knew my boss wasn’t thrilled with my work, but sheesh.

    • It sounds like you’re looking for a job yourself! Keep looking and get outta there!

    • lost academic :

      Boy, I’d be seeing stars!

      Take a walk, cool down, have some tea or water.

      Then look at the possible bright side. There’s a possibility in my mind that your boss put a posting out to see if his/her dissatisfaction could be remedied with a new candidate. Maybe that’s not true – maybe to get what they really want, they’d have to pay a lot more for someone and they’d be better off investing in you.

      I second the advice to look for a new job, because that won’t hurt a bit, but also to consider approaching your boss about it. I’m not firm on that last one, I’m sure others in the Hive here can weigh in with more direct advice and experience, but maybe it’s a conversation starter about performance and goals….

    • I wouldn’t get any work done because I’d promptly take the afternoon off to get my resume in shape. Good luck!

  13. In the last few weeks, I’ve received a lot of invitations for coffees- to talk to someone who wants to go to law school, to talk to someone who works in another department as an assistant and wants to “have fun coffee” (i.e. I think she wants to move to our department as an assistant, but we don’t need anyone else), etc.

    I don’t really have a ton of interest in cultivating these relationships, I’m certainly not required to do them as part of my job, and I just feel like they are another draw on my already limited time, but, I feel rude saying no.

    What do you do with requests like that?

    • Maddie Ross :

      With the law school ones (which I hate!), unless it’s someone really close, I politely decline but tell them I’m happy to answer any specific questions they have. Same with law students who went to my school and are clearly looking for a job in my city.

      The person at your office, I might make time for, just because it can’t hurt to foster a good relationship with them. But people who essentially “cold call” me for coffee and my advice? Sorry, I just can’t.

      • Is it rude or otherwise undesirable to cold call and ask for advice? I’m directed to do that a lot as a student looking for a job, but I definitely don’t want to upset anyone.

        • Maddie Ross :

          I don’t consider it rude at all and I know that career services tells you to do it and frankly hands out our email addresses. I just don’t have a lot of spare time (partner-level attorney with a child and working spouse), so unless there’s some connection – family friend, you clerk for my fav judge, etc. – I probably am not going to have time to “tell you about the job market” in my city. Like I said, I will tell people that if they have specific questions, I’m happy to help, but I probably don’t have time to just shoot the s**t.

        • It’s not rude. Part of being a good citizen of your program/profession is to make time to nurture and mentor folks who are junior to you. We’re all busy and sometimes you truly do not have time, which is why, as a student, you have to cold call a lot of people to get any kind of in person meeting. But this attitude that, I can’t make time for people who won’t directly benefit me, is the reason women, minorities, and folks who don’t come from super privileged backgrounds have such a hard time finding mentors. We ALL need to get used to the idea of being helpful to relative strangers if we want to see any sort of improvement.

          • Maddie Ross :

            Wait, seriously? Every single person who emails you to get coffee when they really just want to get job at your firm – who has no connection to you or your city, or occasionally even no connection to your school and just found your name in a bar directory – deserves coffee and 30 minutes of my time? I disagree. Foster relationships. Find a common link. Work your network so that I am introduced to you through someone else – I have never turned down an invite from someone who was connected to me thru someone else. If you find me on Linked In, I’m not spending what little time I have. I consider myself a good mentor. But I can’t mentor everyone.

          • I think someone reaching out for advice about the field versus someone calling about a job is very different.

            School centers who advise cold calling for jobs are doing you a disservice.

        • Not rude to make the call, but I struggle with people who don’t know boundaries after the initial call. For example, don’t send follow up emails every month asking how I am/if there/s a job/saying nothing but still sending the email… or , requesting an “informational interview” but then pitching me that I hire you at the end of the meeting..

          Ironically, a cold call is how I got my current job, 16 mos after initial call. It was a “warm” call I suppose, a friend of a friend of a friend, but I had no idea who this person was, what this person did, or what the industry was (hence my wanting an informational interview). We happened to hit it off, saw one another 8 mos later at an industry event, and then I was called out of the blue in month 14 asking if I was looking.

          Make the call. but be aware of boundaries, too.

    • I do the “I appreciate the invitation, but my schedule is just too packed right now.” And that’s it.

      AskAManager has talked about this a lot in the past

    • It’s fine to turn down the requests. If you do actually want to help in a more limited way, it’s also great to offer to schedule a phone call to answer their specific questions. It’s much less disruptive to spend 15 minutes on the phone (that you can even schedule for your commute, or other convenient time) than to leave the office for a half-hour (minimum) coffee meeting. And easier to cut it off if the conversation runs long.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 I’m much happier to have a phone call because they’re quicker and easier to schedule.

    • I try to find time to meet with women and underrepresented minorities. White men are helped enough by the system. (Of course I would help out a family friend or someone I had a personal connection to regardless of their race or gender. But for random cold calls where I have no connection to the person, I’m much more inclined to help out someone who is a member of a class that’s underrepresented in Big Law.)

    • I always say yes to requests for informational interviews, although sometimes I do a phone call instead of coffee. Spending 30 minutes with someone doesn’t make you their mentor, it just means you’re paying it forward. I certainly wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today if people hadn’t given me advice.

      That said, I do some informational interviews that are just painful, because people expect you to solve all their problems or tell them exactly what to do. I always advise people to have a list of concrete questions to ask and an idea of what information they want to walk away with.

      • People seriously don’t have a list of questions? For real? Why would you call/meet with someone and not know what you were going to talk about?!

        • I know, it drives me insane! Once I asked “What do you want to know?” And the person replied “anything you can tell me.” Um, not helpful. It sounds harsh, but don’t make me figure out how to be useful to you.

  14. Also, does anybody have recs for an accountant/financial planner type in DC? Is this a service that exists? I basically feel like we are leaving money on the table by trying to do everything ourselves. Not necessarily investment planning, but more like it could be tax advantageous to use these kinds of vehicles to save or structure this way… And yes, I do feel like a jerk but also extremely fortunate to have this question to ask.

    • Yes, Thomas Fautrel at Morgan Stanley in Bethesda. Not an accountant, but a financial adviser. He’s wonderful and very very on top of things.

    • I love Larry Strauss at H&R Block in Cleveland Park. He’s a tax guy I wouldn’t contact him until after the tax season is over though. He’s a nerdy tax guy, but that works for my husband and I. I have a “financial adviser” from Northwestern too who is good, but the whole point of financial advisers is that they give you “free” advise and sell you products at a later point in time, so be smart and wary.

  15. For interviews in a conservative industry, is it boring to wear a white shirt under a navy suit and black shoes/bag? Should I go for a different color shirt, like light blue?

    • I’m mid twenties and even younger looking, if that matters.

    • Yes it is boring. But it is an interview and you should err on the side of boring and understated. You don’t want to be remembered as ” the woman in the neon green blouse”. You can jazz up your outfits as you like AFTER you’ve been hired. Having said that, Light blue is not too much of a stretch and you should be just fine with that.

    • Yes, it is. You want something slightly more interesting than “I’m a student and this is what career services told me to wear,” but not too bold. With a navy suit, I’m partial to pink, lavender, light blue, or a subtle stripe. I’d wear gray or cognac heels if you have them, but if you don’t, black’s OK.

    • Sorry for possible repeat – previous version disappeared.

      A little too boring. You want to shoot for better than “student instructed by career services” but not too bold. With navy, I like pink, lavender, light blue, or a subtle stripe. I’d wear gray or cognac heels if you have them, but if you don’t, black is perfectly fine.

    • No one cares what you wear as long as it’s not inappropriate. Your outfit is fine.

    • lawsuited :

      The outfit is boring, but it’s also appropriate, so if you’re happy wearing it then don’t think on it any longer. If you’d prefer to add tiny bit of personality, a solid coloured blouse and a grey shoe would also look great with your navy suit.

    • I’m in my mid-30s and conduct interviews. I’d think well of a 20 something dressed like that. You can be less boring though if it bothers you, either with a different shirt or accessories.

  16. Has anyone tried the Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines? It looks like a lot of people have gotten good results, but they tend to be early 20s, not mid-30s with a kid, like me.

    Summer is coming and I’m feeling really nervous about all the bathing suit time, I need to start my diet and workout plan.

    • Hi, Sorry I am seeing this so late, but yes I did it and found the results to be meh. I generally like HIIT, but found the guide to be boring. I also didn’t like that she doesn’t include any weight training. I’m mid 20s and generally fit, so I wasn’t looking to make huge changes and I think any exercise is on the right track, but I’m convinced most of the results are from people who had terrible diets and followed the food guide or the food and exercise one.

      ALSO- If I recall correctly, the guide wanted cardio and HIIT on some days, requiring two sessions. Ain’t nobody got time for that. I got my best body doing an efficient 30 minutes a day: 2 days of weights, 1-2 days of HIIT moves, and 1-2 days bike cardio.

  17. Out of Place Engineer :

    We are looking at moving this summer. We have a home that we have lived in for a dozen years, which we bought while we were in an apartment. It was awesome — we did a tear-out of the kitchen and refinished the hardwood floors before we moved in. I am a little overwhelmed at the prospect of showing our house and trying to find a new one and coordinating everything. We need to use the equity from our existing home for the down-payment of the new home, so I am thinking we have to sell first? And do we use the same realtor for selling & buying? I know people do this all the time, so it can’t be as complicated as I am making it…right? Any advice is appreciated! We are already making the necessary home repairs & purging/storing items off site to make the house more appealing.

    • I think it can feel overwhelming to make major live changes, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated.

      If you need the equity from your home sale to deliver a down payment check at the closing of your new home, you’ll need to sell first. But you can ask the purchaser for a holdover lease for a month so that you can live in your old home post closing while closing on and moving into your new home.

      You certainly *can* use the same realtor for both- and I’m sure the realtor will recommend you do that- but you don’t have to. Using the same realtor can help with the timing issues. Your realtor will have a sense of what’s happening in both deals and how to optimize timing to make things convenient for you.

      • Delta Dawn :

        This is a good suggestion. We recently bought a home and had the same arrangement with the sellers, where we closed and then they rented the home from us for an extra month. It worked very well.

    • Maddie Ross :

      We did this last year, and it’s not as bad as you think. Depending on your market, the worst part of it will be the contingencies on purchase you’ll have (i.e., if you need your equity to buy, you’ll likely need to put a sale contingency in the purchase contract, which some sellers – esp. in hot markets – don’t like). You can look in to doing a HELOC that you would pay off with the sale, if that’s an option or other bridge loan options so that the two closings don’t have to be simultaneous. That said, a good realtor can help you work through all these timing issues.

      • We did the HELOC thing to put money down on the house we were buying. It was a bit of a pain but it all worked out very well in the end.

    • Take out a HELOC to use for the downpayment before selling your old place, but don’t tell the bank when you apply that this is why you’re doing it. You’ll likely have to pay a bit of a fee for closing the HELOC early, but when we ran the numbers, this was WAY cheaper and easier than any other option (including bridge loans, etc).

      • To clarify, I mean take out a HELOC immediately (don’t wait until you start looking for a new place). Then you’ll have access to the down payment money the second you need it, which can be so helpful in a hot market. Of course, this is only a good strategy if you’re financially disciplined enough not to touch the line of credit for anything else, but that shouldn’t be hard for most people.

        • Coach Laura :

          If you’re going to do this, make sure that the HELOC is approved and fully closed before listing your current house, as to do otherwise would most likely cause the HELOC to be declined. Property normally cannot have been listed for sale in the past 6-12 months but that may vary with individual lenders.

    • We moved out of our first home last year, and into our “forever” home. We moved towns and about 40 miles, so we used a different selling and buying agent. We did use the same closing attorney for both.

      We used equity from our first home to buy the second, so we did need to close on that first. We were insane, and closed on the same day. If we ever had to do this again, we’d sell, rent somewhere for a month, and then buy/move, just for convenience.

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      If you are looking to buy in the same area you currently live in I think using the same agent for both the sale and the purchase can be a good idea because they will usually give you a discount on their commission for the sale of your house since they will also be getting a commission on the house you purchase.

    • Out of Place Engineer :

      Thanks for the advice, all! We haven’t listed our home yet, so I will look into the HELOC. When we bought this home (before the housing crash) we only put 10% down and then took out a HELOC on the house we just bought for the rest of the down payment, to avoid PMI. I have no idea how the mortgage broker worked that one, but it was good for us! Any ideas if we take out the HELOC now, before listing, how much will that affect our credit score? We have enough discipline not to touch the HELOC and have a nice emergency fund that we would like to maintain despite moving.

      • Anonymous :

        Do you still have the HELOC in place, even if it’s paid down? You could probably draw on it if it’s still there. That said, you’re right to think this may impact your credit score. I would probably talk to a mortgage broker about all of your options.

        • Out of Place Engineer :

          When the housing market crashed, our HELOC was closed out. It was paid down at the time, so not a big deal to us. We don’t have a mortgage broker right now, but we’ll look for one to talk to. Does it matter if we get a mortgage broker or a real estate agent first?

    • lost academic :

      You do have to sell first but many people work it out so that they are going from closing on their existing home to closing on the new home, check in hand – which helps a lot in terms of moving, since the buyers of your existing home are going to want the keys that day and you’ll need to be moved out in short order. I saw a suggestion that you’d get a month to do so – that would be great but you shouldn’t count on it. In my experience you can sometimes get a week. Remember, the people buying might be in the same position you are in, too!

      Get a realtor to tell you what they think you need to prep and stage the house. We thought we knew and boy were we wrong! Biggest takeaway – no matter how much you depersonalize your house, you should do it more.

      I wouldn’t use the same agent to sell as to buy. Agents are typically either seller’s or buyer’s agents and we found that buyer’s agents don’t serve you well when you are trying to sell.

  18. Anonitynon :

    Reposting from a day ago…

    I don’t think this brand of clothing is necessarily aimed at anyone on here, but I’m curious: do any of you have experience with LuLaRoe? Specifically, the fit of the dresses? It’s one of those companies where individual women become consultants and sell from their home (similar to MLM companies like Stella and Dot, etc.). All of the selling happens in Facebook groups. Seems to be done by a lot of SAHMs. The company only manufactures 2500 or something of each print and then it goes out of circulation, so they have a lot of different, constantly updating styles.

    Anyway, I like the look of the Amelia dress (it has sleeves, box pleats, and pockets), though figuring out how to buy it is a pain. Does anyone have any experience with the type of fabric used in these dresses, or how they fit?

    • It’s definitely a thing in my area, especially among my friends that are teachers. In fact, I was invited to a party for it this weekend, so some consultants apparently do in person parties as well.

      I’m not going to the party because it really looks like something that is not my thing – I don’t really wear patterns, and I have to try on 20 items before I keep 1, so ordering online from an MLM isn’t going to work for me.

      So far though all I’ve heard people going on and on about is the leggings and how soft and comfy they are, and a few other comments about the clothes being comfy and lounge-y – so I’m guessing it probably isn’t great for workwear unless you work somewhere really casual.

    • I own an Amelia. I love it! It has lasted years. It’s a weekend, grocery store dress for sure and exceedingly comfortable. Not for the professional office though.

      • PS I’ve never tried on anything else from LuLaRoe though all my SAHM friends sell it. And jamberry, and doterra, and younique, and scentsy, and……

      • Anonitynon :

        Thanks! That’s good to know. I’m in an extremely casual office, so I wonder if it would work for me…

    • lucy stone :

      I have a few LLR pieces, my SIL and some sorority sisters sell it. It’s definitely a weekend or casual office day thing for me. The fabric is okay, better than what you’d get at Kohl’s, but not as nice as a high-end piece from Nordstrom. I’d equate it to GAPish quality. The leggings are indeed supersoft.

      • Anonitynon :


      • anon at 11:45 :

        Agreed with Lucy Stone, but I think the dress is a bit better than GAP because the material is a bit thicker and more durable than what I find these days at most department stores…but maybe that’s a commentary on decreasing quality these days. But I digress.

        If between two sizes, order down.

  19. Just wanted to post this ATL article because there is a lovely working mom spin in the middle. What bada$$es. Love.

  20. Board member of an organization for professionals in my area. Membership is high but actual attendance at events is very low. At our main event (open bar) someone showed up, asked for a bottle of scotch, a board member said “give it to him” and the someone took the bottle. The catering company proceeded to bill us the cost per serving (about 5 times the value of the bottle).

    The person who took the bottle is a young lawyer (kind of person we are trying to get to come to events). Probably doesn’t have $700 to give us. Works at a small firm that is unaware of the bottle situation and wouldn’t reimburse for it anyway.

    Thoughts on what we should do? I feel like we need to just pay for the bottle.

    • Are you kidding me? Someone can just walk in and ask for a whole bottle of scotch, and a board member signed off on it??? That board member should pay for the bottle, IMO.

      • I think the board member should pay for it. Your bylaws probably speak to whether directors can authorize expenses over $x.xx. I would treat this as an opportunity to remind board members that there are guidelines for their position and re-educate leadership about what their roles and responsibilities are. But yes, I would would ask the board member to pay for it or otherwise “make up” for the cost in their annual contributions/fundraising for the group.

      • This.

        Plus ask the board member what the heck s/he was thinking??

    • 1. Go back to the catering company and negotiate the charge better.

      2. Obviously you pay for it. It’s an open bar event, he ordered from the bar, was served from the bar, and a board member expressly authorized it. I don’t care if he’s a PD or a partner at Skadden this isn’t his bill to pay.

      • lost academic :

        But a bartender handed over an ENTIRE bottle. Authorized or not, I’d check the contract and try and negotiate the cost down. And then get the board member to pay.

        • Right, I’m a little confused about handing over a whole bottle. Was the person running bottle service from their table at the event? Or did they take it home a partially finished bottle for personal consumption? Because the latter seems like a possible violation of local distribution laws.

          • lost academic :

            Whenever we’ve hosted events with bars we a) almost always use a cash bar or drink tickets to reduce risk and b) the bartenders feel very strongly about overserving. I’ve helped cut people off before.

    • Can I come to your events? I promise to share the bottle of Scotch with other attendees.

    • Maddie Ross :

      How would it have been charged if the bottle had just been finished, not taken? If it would have been less, I would ask the catering company to take that into consideration. Either way, I think it’s a board expense. But agree that it would be good opportunity to remind the board of their duties/responsibilities.

    • No advice beyond yes, you (or the individual board member) pay for it, but I’d argue that someone who asks for a bottle of scotch from an open bar isn’t actually the kind of person you want to come to events. I know you mean young lawyers in general, but someone needs to have a talk with him.

    • Another thought would be to have someone who maybe knows the someone to have a polite chat about how that was probably a bad look for that someone. Don’t request to be paid but it should be shared with the someone that it wasn’t exactly the best move on their part.

    • I really think a young lawyer should have shown way better judgement. Really? I’d certainly talk with the lawyer and explain that when he showed up, taking entire bottles of top-shelf liquor wasn’t really part of the deal. And by the way, your organization was charged several hundred dollars for that bottle. And also remind him that he has character and fitness requirements as a member of the bar. And ask him if he has any thoughts on what you just said.

      I would also talk to the Board member. WTH was that person thinking?

      • If you’re doing community outreach, you don’t want to call the lawyer and chastise him. He’s going to go around the legal community and say you were “unwelcoming” or “stingy” without giving any context. It’s really not worth risking bad publicity.

        Also, we don’t know from the post what the lawyer did with the bottle. Maybe he was one of a big group of professionals and they all split (and finished) the bottle while at the event. I agree that treating an open bar like your person bottle service is cringey, but I’m sure these things happen once drinks start flowing. And this is why the bartenders at my wedding will be told that they are not to serve shots/bottles of alcohol to any of my super drunk guests.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. And to Anon above, what the attorney did has absolutely nothing to do with C&F and throwing that around as a threat would not only make OP look ridiculous, but would cast a really negative impression on the group that is trying to recruit members.

  21. Anon for this :

    I have an acquaintance that I met as a teenager, whom I saw a few times about 10 years ago when I moved to my current city, but haven’t been in touch with since. She recently was accepted to an internship program (not a job, though) affiliated with my fairly large division of a fairly large company. I have a midlevel position in the division. But since her acceptance, she’s asked me multiple times to get together and catch up. Her internship doesn’t start for several months. I’ve found excuses, but I am out of them. To be honest, I have no interest in rekindling with her. I found her annoying when we were teenagers, I found her annoying 10 years ago, and based on her correspondence and persistence, I still find her annoying. I’m fine having drinks or coffee with her in a welcome-to-the-company way, but I am not interested in more than that, especially because I think that being overly friendly would result in her coming by to visit a lot once she’s in my building more often. She’s lived here for 12+ years, so I don’t think this is her trying to find friends after moving to a new place.

    How would you navigate this, both immediately (making plans) and in the medium-term (once she starts)? I’m going to be seeing her around, and she’s going to be doing some projects for my colleagues. I have no desire to be mean to her/make her feel unwelcome. I just want to set the tone correctly so that this doesn’t become a bigger annoyance down the road.

    • Not meeting for coffee when someone you know gets an internship in your department is kinda rude. I mean, I get that you don’t love her, but it’s coffee. It’s all of 20-30 minutes.

      In the long-term, does this matter? As in, with some companies an internship is a guaranteed job so long as you don’t murder anyone, with others, it’s understood there’s never a job. Will you have to see her after this internship?

      I’m pretty sure she’s already gotten or will certainly get the “I dislike you” vibe you’re giving off, but at the moment she’s just trying to be friendly and get off to the right foot in her new workplace. Suck it up and go to coffee. Politely decline any future invitations – she’ll get the hint.

    • I disagree with anon above. If you already know you don’t like her, don’t waste time worrying about this. You’ll just resent getting coffee with her and be even more annoyed than you already are. And then you’re opening the door to future invitations! Why bother?

    • I think you’re being a little harsh. It sounds like she just wants to connect because of her internship and ask you for advice, etc. You don’t have to be BFFs with her, but I think it’s rude not to meet for coffee. And who knows, you might like her this time around.

  22. How do you deal with emotionally abusive relatives who gaslight and behave with breathtaking cruelty? We have already tried cutting the relative (my aunt) out, but we are unable to completely cut off contact because she and my dad have the same parents (my grandparents) who we all want to continue to see. I would also still like to see her kids, but she has decided she hates us all and we can never see her kids again. Kids are innocent in all this, but how can I maintain a relationship with them given the way their mom is behaving?

    Example: Aunt will call when we’re visiting grandparents and make crazy accusations about my dad. Grandparents in question have dementia and are not really able to understand what’s going on.

    • You say “That is inappropriate.” and walk away.

      You minimize all opportunities for this person to hurt you and your family.

      You stay in touch with the kids by email/text/calls and when they are adults you find time to see them away from their mother.

      If your grandparents have dementia…. well…. they wont remember what your aunt tells them anyway. They will remember how your father made them feel years ago, and will treat him accordingly. Those memories never die… even with dementia.

      You cannot change your aunt. You can only change the way you respond to her.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        +1 especially for the last 2 sentences.

        • Thanks. This is helpful. One thing, though. I don’t see how I can contact the kids when their mother is using them as a pawn in the game (“You can NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN”). If I do so, I am explicitly going against her wishes and involving them.

          My parents have told me to just lay low for awhile until things calm down, but I feel so sad about it.

          • Yep, leave it alone and don’t obsess. Those kids will be older one day and able to make their own judgments. If you have the opportunity, let them know that they can contact you if they ever want to, but otherwise wait for them to grow up – they will!

  23. TMI/medical question :

    I wake up every morning with a feeling that something is stuck in my throat and within an hour or so I cough up some phlegm, usually hardened. (When I say cough, I don’t mean from my lungs, it feels like it’s coming from the back of my throat/sinuses). From googling it seems like it might be a symptom of dry air, but I’ve used a humidifier in my bedroom with no improvement (we also have a whole house humidifier, which is on in the winter when we’re using the heat). Anyone experienced this and have suggestions for how to fix? It doesn’t seem like a serious problem, but it is pretty annoying.

    • I had a similar thing going on. My doctor called it post nasal drip and prescribed a nasal spray to try and dry up the congestion. moderate success so far.

    • Mucinex might help

      • naijamodel :

        Seconded. I had this for a few days, then it got so bad I woke up and could barely talk one morning. Nurse said regular Mucinex, lots of fluid, and a Z-pack. I think the Mucinex helped the most. FYI, I already take Flonase and sudafed due to bad allergies and she told me to keep taking those.

        • Not sure why the nurse would recommend antibiotics for this – over-prescribing, anyone?

    • Tonsil stone (aka tonsillolith)?

    • Anonymous :

      Do you sleep on your back? I have post-nasal drip from allergies. If I sleep on my back, everything that would normally drain just sort of congeals in the back of my throat overnight. It’s much better if I prop myself up with 2-3 pillows.

  24. Is there ever a case where you feel like a guy’s just not that into you, but it turns out he actually is?

    I’ve been seeing someone for 5 months and I’m a little frustrated. A mutual friend, Jake, introduced me to Paul. Jake insists that Paul is crazy about me, but that Paul’s just reticent to show his feelings after having been burned in the past.

    Ok, but Paul doesn’t do much to indicate his interest in me: doesn’t initiate dates, texts sometimes, is good about calling in the evenings after work, doesn’t talk about a future, and I’ve gotten maaaybe 3 compliments from him in 5 months.

    I’d trust Jake with my life, and he’s a fantastic judge of people, so when Jake says Paul is crazy about me, I’ve been believing him… But I’m starting to feel foolish. Come on, we’re in our 30s. Surely you know how to express yourself and show a woman interest by now.

    Is there some scenario where I’m just being needy or insecure about this? I trust the hive to set me straight. He does call me nearly every night after work.

    I’m planning a Talk shortly, but I’m slammed at work at the moment and want to get past this project. (Another reason I want to be sure I’m not being inappropriately needy or insecure – is my stress messing with me?)

    Ugh, do I need to treat this like college and pull away and see if he follows? I’ve done it over a weekend or two and he doesn’t seem to mind too much – he’ll pop back up on Sunday night with a normal conversation like we hadn’t just not talked in 2-3 days.

    I’m reaching the I Don’t Care Anymore point. Seriously, show me you care or we can just go our own ways.

    • espresso bean :

      It doesn’t really matter how Paul feels. What matters is how he makes YOU feel and whether or not this works for you in the context of this relationship. That’s what you have to work with here.

      Based on what you’ve written here, it sounds like this is not working for you. Maybe it works for some women and they’d be very happy with it (I know it wouldn’t work for me)! But if you want a guy that expresses his feelings, plans dates, and generally makes you feel good about the state of the relationship, then you should dump Paul and go find one. I don’t think Paul will change — or at least, he won’t change the way he behaves with you.

      Also, I think that things should be pretty blissfully happy in the early stages of a relationship. If it’s this much trouble this early on, it’s not worth it! Cut your losses and move on. Good luck.

    • Definitely have a Talk. I’d lay it out just the way you have here – your friend who’s judgment you trust is telling you that Paul likes you but you’re not getting that vibe directly from Paul. Tell Paul he needs to step up his initiation of interactions otherwise you will have to conclude that friend thinks you are a good match and wants it to work but that Paul actually isn’t that into you. Let him know that there are no bad feelings but that he needs to be honest about if he’s interested in pursuing something or not.

    • To me, the question is how much you like Paul. If you really really like him then, sure, go The Talk route. But it doesn’t sound like you’re that into him.

    • If Paul is truly crazy about you, one would hope he would be open to a conversation where you discuss what your needs are in a relationship (each partner taking the lead on making plans not just you, that words of affirmation (or whichever appropriate love language) are important to you, etc.).

      If you want to give him a change, I suggest being open and honest with him about you feel – that you really like him, but that you don’t feel as though he is really present in the relationship when he doesn’t proactively make plans or whatever. If he doesn’t know how you feel, he probably has no idea that you are unhappy with the way things are going. I would give him one chance if you really like him and everything else is going well. It’s time to stop relying on the intermediary and take charge of your own relationship.

      On the other hand, to paraphrase Senior Attorney, relationships are not DIY projects and if a man wants to be with you he will be with you. He is in his 30s and, presumably, he has been in some relationships before. It shouldn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that if you like someone you should try to spend time with someone.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. Generally I’d agree with espresso bean and say “it doesn’t sound like this guy is meeting your needs, so adios.” But if you really like him, by all means have one (and only one) Talk in which you lay out what you’ve told us. If he really is crazy about you maybe he will be more than happy to initiate some dates and be more verbally effusive.

        Anecdote: Gentleman Friend was quite reserved when we were first dating. He is not a Feelings Talker and after we had dated a while I sat him down and said “do you always not talk about feelings or is it only with me?” And he said “I don’t talk about feelings. I let my actions speak for me.” And I chose to believe him and started looking at his (lovely and kind) actions as indicators of his feelings and that helped me a lot. And over time he got more Feelings Talky, so it goes both ways.

    • If you think Paul’s judgement is trustworthy, I’d say you are a bit needy. You have been together for 5 months. He calls nearly every day. You seem to be very active initiating dates. You didn’t mention whether he generally agrees with your plans or he rejects you often, indicating that he doesn’t prioritize your relationship.
      Depending on character, this might be his version of showing affection to you. It sounds like you spend a lot of time together. Also, after 5 months, I would personally be ready for a let’s-move-in-together-Talk, but not a let’s-get-married-and-have-kids-Talk.
      I wouldn’t worry too much, simply be straightforward with your Talk. You are totally right, not doing the silly college-tactics.

    • Anonymous :

      It can be hard to tell whether someone isn’t ready for a relationship or if this is just how they are. At the end of the day, though, you have to be happy with how the relationship is proceeding NOW. If you’re not, then keep your options open to find someone who’s more compatible.

      From personal experience: DH and I knew each other for years before we started dating. I was into him, our mutual friends swore he was into me. He’d flirt a little but wouldn’t really pursue anything deeper. I pined a bit but I kept doing the online dating thing. When he was finally ready, he came on strong and he’s been an amazing, attentive partner ever since. But we never would’ve gotten where we are now if I spent all those years frustrating myself trying to pull some attention out of him.

  25. seeking female mentors...ideas? :

    I’m looking for opportunities to network and find a (preferably female) mentor in or around the Phoenix area. I have a JD and bar license and work in a related corporate field (not practicing law). Does the ABA have a program, or is there some way to network with the goal of meeting a mentor? The easy answer is “identify someone you’d like to be and ask to take her to lunch,” but…ideas for how I identify someone? A strong female executive would be ideal.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Do you have a Rotary club (or similar service club) in your area? Your company would probably be willing to pay your dues. I would be happy to mentor one of the younger members of our club and I think it would be a good place to find the kind of person you’re looking for.

    • I met absolutely wonderful mentors through the ABA Section of Litigation Woman Advocate Committee. Email the co chairs (their contact info is on the webs!te) and attend one of their monthly phone calls. Go to one of the meetings. They have networking events at the meetings that are great. Through that group I’ve developed the best group of mentors across a broad base of types of work, organizations, practice areas and states. They also do meeting mentors where they pair people who haven’t been to meetings with those who have to meet in advance and create a connection/confirm level.

      I know there are a few active members in Pheonix.

      Also try your local bar association. Many have mentorship programs.

      Any organization you get involved with though will need you to be more than just a member to truly get the benefit of those relationships.

  26. I am on month five of billing 250+. Someone talk me off a ledge.

    • Book a three day weekend, stat. I’m sorry. But looking forward to a break is very helpful. GL!

    • Anonymous :

      Drink lots of water, do some sit ups and push ups in your office, get a standing desk, order yourself little treats from Amazon or Etsy, consider signing up for a service like Birchbox (a present every month!). And yes to planning a vacation.

  27. Ever wish you were born into a wealthy family where a business was just handed to you? I went to Wharton with so many guys whose grandfathers or fathers are real estate developers, own successful law firms etc — and all these guys had to do was go to college or law school, dabble in industry for a bit (ie 1-2 yrs max in banking, biglaw etc) and a role was created for them to return to the family business. And now about 10 yrs out many are becoming CEOs as the prior generation retires. We’re talking good regional businesses w 50+ employees – not selling newspapers at dad’s newsstand. I know life isn’t fair but as I sit here 10 yrs out slogging away for someone else who may or may not give me a raise or promote me – man an empire would be nice. is there any downside to that life?? Bc I don’t see it.

    • Honestly, I don’t. I am on an acquaintance-level of friendliness with some folks who are in this situation and (anecdata), they are not as happy as they might appear. I know one is into hardcore drugs, has three kids by two women, and doesn’t have any sense of true responsibility because his family is rich, rich, and he doesn’t have to worry about anything despite “working” for his family. Another one is a stereotypical entitled rich kid, again despite “working” for his family.

      The husband of one of my good friend’s finally caved and took over his family’s business and it’s been a nightmare. His dad won’t give fully up his antiquated way of doing business (they are alcohol distributors and until my friend’s husband took over, stock was done BY HAND, his dad doesn’t like to use email, etc.), his brother who he was forced to employ by his father is worthless (calls out of work constantly, complains about everything, comes in late, etc.), etc.

      For me personally, the downside would be having to work with my family. I like that I don’t have to play the family game at work and I generally try to keep my familial interactions to a minimum. There is not enough money in the world for me to want to go into business with my family – I would go insane.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      I feel you, babe. So much of this in my business, both in terms of colleagues, and clients. The latter are generally nicer people (because I have fantastic clients) than the former.

      Me: total working class background.

      S’OK, what we have we completely earned, roar!!!

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s very sad growing up with your destiny pre-determined. I don’t know about you, but I was always told I could do anything I wanted. If you’re expected to take over a family business, you don’t grow up daydreaming about being an astronaut or a vet or a writer or whatever else you wanted to be when you were a kid, because you know you have no choice but to go into the family business.

      My husband has a good friend in this situation and even though he’s done some things that sure look fun, like traveling the world while “working” for his father, spending his 20s doing artsy stuff while living in an insane ($10K per month!!) NYC apartment paid for by his parents, etc., he’s a deeply unhappy person. He’s also a person who is a brilliant at science and math (I know a lot of STEM PhDs, so I don’t throw that term around lightly, but he really is), and probably could have made great contributions through research, but instead he will inherit a business and not do much good for the world beyond charitable contributions.