Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.
I think we’ve featured this J.Crew Factory blazer before, but they’ve got a bunch of new colors, so I thought I’d bring it to your attention again — it’s available in camel, gray, navy, and black.
I didn’t realize this until now, but J.Crew Factory has reviews — and this has 335 reviews and 4.6 stars, so it’s a pretty big hit. It comes in sizes XXS–3X, which is great, and it’s machine washable. While its “comparable value” is $98, right now it’s $59.50.
I think it’s a modern classic and definitely worth considering if you’re looking for a soft, knit blazer for your wardrobe. Sweater Blazer
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Pictured above, great sweater jackets for the office as of 2023: cream* / navy / black* / burgundy* / cropped black (also this Anthro one, and Kat loves this one*!) (* available in plus sizes)
2019 Update: We’re adding this sweater blazer to our Workwear Hall of Fame because it’s still around, coming out in new colors, and getting rave reviews.
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Workwear sales of note for 3.19.23:
- Ann Taylor – 30% off $150; 40% off $250
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything plus extra 40% off purchase
- Boden – Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with 25% off everything
- Brooks Brothers – Extra 25% off sale. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Cole Haan – Up to 40% off select styles
- Express – All bottoms $45
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase
- J.Crew Factory – 50% off everything; extra 50% off clearance; $10 off every $50
- NET-A-PORTER – 25% off $750; 20% off $500
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 40% off 1 item and 25% off everything else; 25% off markdowns
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This is a beautiful blazer, and at $59.50, they will really go quickly! I will buy first then see if the manageing partner will reimburse (he is not coming in today!).
I have a difficult issue with my Dad. He now has set his sight’s on 53 W 53, a very nice new high rise, but it is right in the middle of town, and there is NO real neighborhood where people hang out after 6 pm. It would be a fairly easy walk to work, but again, it is NOT the Upper East Side with people, bars, little stores and supermarkets. I do NOT even know where the closest little snack places are I could go to. On the other hand, it is near the MOMA, and dad is a member, so I would get to go whenever I want. Dad wants me to go see the manageing agent about an apartement, but I am a little queezy. What would the HIVE do? Doesn’t personal life mean more then a nice apartment in an otherwise steril place after hours? He will buy it and then sublease it to me for tax purposes, which I do not know if that makes sense either. Anyone have Ideas for me? Thanks in advance!
Trying to figure out if this is the type of thing we should hire an immigration lawyer to answer…we are looking to move to Canada (Quebec) in the next few years, and have questions about taxes, how healthcare benefits work, what happens to our US 401Ks, etc. If so, how do we find a good one?
i would better get a tax lawyer. the healthcare uou can figure out but the 401k piece will be challenging for your first year.
Well you can’t just move here you have to apply and be accepted. You would pay Canadian taxes just like everyone else and get access to universal healthcare just like everyone else. We don’t have 401Ks so you’d either have to transfer the money to one of our retirement vehicles (RRSP, if you intend on retiring here) or just leave it there. You will also have to file taxes with the IRS, because the US likes to make sure it’s citizens are paying taxes, I’d recommend renouncing once you’re able.
It’s not that simple — the US/Canada income tax treaty prevents most double taxation.
Also, renouncing if you have significant assets (incl. retirement assets) might cost you (social security; ripple effects if you have family in the US and any chance of inheriting).
Quebec Bar has a referral service by area of specialization. Not all lawyers participate though. https://www.barreau.qc.ca/en/find-lawyer/referral-services/
Highly recommend using an immigration lawyer unless you have an employer willing to provide those services. Immigrating to Canada isn’t easy and the rules for Quebec are slightly different again. It is somewhat more straightforward if you have a job offer. Quebec is currently looking at tightening up their admittances to emphasize Franco-European immigrants so it will likely get harder to immigrate there in the next few years. If you are fluent in French, then that will help your chances.
Thanks! I realize this might be kind of a dumb question, but it sounds like from your comment that we should be looking for a lawyer in Quebec, not in the US, right? Also, not to get into it for various reasons, but we actually would not have any issue with the actual “getting in” part of the immigration. We’re more trying to figure out what all the knock-on effects would be.
Are you Canadian citizens, US citizen or both? Makes a big difference in terms of financial implications. If you are Canadian citizens returning to Canada then you wouldn’t have to pay US taxes in the same way as if you are US citizens.
I would probably do Canadian (Quebec) lawyer for Canadian/Quebec immigration issues, if any? And US tax lawyer to try and reduce your US tax implications. US-Canada moves are common enough that you can probably find someone barred in both jurisdictions.
Is there a reason it has to be Quebec? It has a lower cost of living compared to Ontario but worse health care and education, and it’s quite separate from the rest of Canada.
American in Quebec here! There are some subtleties to double taxation, but essentially you will still need to file in the US in addition to Canada/Quebec (two separate declarations, unlike in the rest of Canada).
I believe you can keep your 401k but not contribute to it anymore (but I don’t have a 401k so don’t quote me on that). Once you are in Canada with Canadian income you can open a RRSP – similar to a 401k. Be careful about TFSAs – opinions are split on how they are taxed by the US. There are lots of articles online on the taxation of Americans in Canada which can refer you to an appropriate source. You might be better off with an accountant who specializes in international taxation.
Also, Montreal is fun! (assuming that’s where you would be moving, but could be wrong).
As to how healthcare works – all legal residents of Quebec have access to the public healthcare system, unless you are on certain types of short-term visas. This covers doctor visits, hospital stays, giving birth, treatment for cancer, etc – and it’s free (well, paid for through taxes). Most people also get supplemental health insurance, generally through their employer. Coverage varies per plan but generally this covers dental, optical, chiropractors, psychotherapy, etc, and in some cases medical care abroad, some private medical care, or extra perks such as private rooms in hospitals. Definitely ask any future employers whether they offer supplemental health, because while individuals plans do exists, they tend to be terrible and more expensive.
Thanks! These are exactly the type of details I need to find someone (sounds like a Quebecois immigration lawyer) to answer. We have a lot of time, so it’s good to understand and possibly plan for some of the details now, get our assets in the right place etc. And it would most likely be Montreal, which we love. To the question above about why Quebec…because it’s awesome! Not that other parts of Canada are not :)
Does anyone trim their nose hair? If so, how? And how long is considered too long? I was just told by someone that I should consider trimming my nose hair because when I smiled, some hair can poke outside of my nostrils.
If it pokes out I trim it. Usually it’s only a stray hair of teo
I have a pair of scissors that came with a brow kit. Small and sharp, works well for this purpose as well as trimming brows. I do it because my skin is pale and my hair is black, so it never hurts to tidy up unwanted hairs on my face–they show easily. Whatever I see sticking out, I snip.
Yes, I have a few that occasionally poke out. I trim them with tiny scissors (sewing kit size).
to be perfectly blunt, mine get dried boogers on them, and then I end up ripping them out by the roots. Occasionally I trim them (when they grow visible despite the former) with little scissors.
Glad I am not the only one. I started doing it out of paranoia when I noticed protruding nose hair on another woman. I have a little trimmer gadget that I got at Target for about $10 that is about the size and shape of a toothbrush.
I think that when you go to get your face hair waxed, this may be included at some places.
I tweeze when I notice a hair while I’m doing makeup in my magnified mirror.
Yes. I bought a battery-operated nose hair trimmer. If I notice hair, I use it, probably once every 11 days?
I am having my photo taken for a feature in my undergraduate alumni magazine to accompany a story about me, and I have NO idea what to wear/how to do my hair and makeup. Any advice? We are doing the shoot at a coffee shop in my neighborhood and it’s intended to be casual, but I still want to look my best before this magazine goes out to thousands of people. Any advice? I’m early-30s but look young for my age, Chinese, dark hair and dark features.
Congrats! Sounds like a great feature. Do you have the budget for a blowout? That would be a simple and easy way to not have to stress about your hair. For the makeup, I’d do a more involved version of your normal look: full foundation, concealer, powder, etc. I’d do matte and natural eyes, falsies if you’re already comfortable with them, light rosy cheeks and a balmy-lipgloss-lipstained light lip look. For the outfit, I’d do dark jeans, boots and a really killer blouse (white or jewel tone would look great). If you have any signature accessories, I’d wear that too.
Oh that sounds so cool. I agree on the jeans and gorgeous blouse, and a blowout.
I would get my hair blown out before the shoot with someone who has done it before so I don’t stress about it looking good or not. If I knew what coffee shop I was going to take photos in I would try to get a glimpse of their color scheme so I don’t accidentally clash or wear the same color as their walls. I would wear bold colors, not patterns. If I were dressing for it I would probably wear jeans, booties, and a blouse or sweater depending on the weather. And remember if you are sitting at a coffee table they might only see you from part of your waist up so check to see how your outfit will look from different perspectives.
Co-sign the above – plus some nice looking jewelry. Maybe a longer necklace and some cool earrings? Or an interesting bracelet.
Congrats, this sounds exciting!
I have learned (the hard way) that I tend to look shinier on photos than I do in real life. Definitely put some powder, I highly recommend the Laura Mercier translucent setting powder as it had no risk of flashback, but MAC and Makeup Forever HD powders are nice too. Unless you aim for teh glass skin look, which I understand is desirable in some aesthetics.
Wear a bright color on your lip or you might look washed down. I always lick my front teeth or you can even put vaseline to help with avoiding smudging from the constant smiling.
I would pick one chunky accessory, so either chunky earrings or chunky necklace but not both.
Assuming they will adjust the lens and focus to blur everything in the background I’d go for a color that contrasts with my skin tone (so no browns for me), rather a rich greens or other saturated colors.
I would get a blowout and have your makeup done professionally. My teenager just had a “makeover” at Sephora that was free with a $50 purchase. Her look photographed very well, and the other customers getting makeovers had diverse skin tones and all ended up looking fabulous.
I would wear dark jeans, booties, and a cashmere sweater with a flattering neckline in a color that makes your face “pop,” slightly loose but not sloppy. But if your personal style is more eclectic or funky, go with that and wear something that reflects your personality. I would wear the outfit to the coffee shop and photograph it ahead of time to test it out.
I would get a blowout from my regular hair stylist, since my hair always looks nice when I do that. I personally wouldn’t wear make-up, because I don’t wear it normally and the few times I’ve had it done professionally I felt like a clown and didn’t think I looked like myself in the photos. People with darker features don’t generally look washed out in photos even without any make-up, I think that’s more of a concern for blonds with fair skin.
Start with your regular hair stylist and salon – the stylist may also know a lot about makeup or do this professionally on the side, or know someone who does. I am so insecure about makeup, I would definitely get it done professionally!
How exciting. I echo the group that would get a blow out. I would do heavy-day makeup — extra mascara (or lashes, if you wear those– I don’t) and a bright lip color, but no dark eye-shadow. And, I’d probably wear a solid, jewel-tone dress plus a little more jewelry than I normally wear. If that’s too dressy, I’d do black skinny jeans with a solid top (also a jewel tone?). If the coffee shop is brightly decorated, though, I think a white/cream top might be nice too.
I would get a blow out, wear nice fitting black, gray or dark jeans, booties/heels whatever is the most comfortable for you. I would add a cool blouse and a fun necklace.
If you typically wear makeup I would be sure to add extra mascara, blush/bronzer and powder. If you don’t usually wear makeup I would practice a light makeup look that includes a powder, mascara, and blush/bronzer, maybe some tinted balm(I like nivea/fresh balm).
I like these tops/necklaces. anthro is great too.
Small Firm IP Litigator
I’ve done this before too, and I guess I am a voice of dissent. I did my hair and makeup myself. It is a cool thing to be featured, but I didn’t think it was a big enough deal to do anything else.
Congrats! I would wear a pop of school color, but in a non-annoying way,like a scarf.
As someone who edits this kind of magazine, I wouldn’t do this. Wear what looks best on you personally, don’t try to work school colors into the outfit. And definitely no school logos or letters – solid colors photograph much better.
Anon for this
For those of you who struggle with anxiety/depression, how do you tell what is symptoms of your disease surfacing and what is actually workplace/job toxicity? I start with a therapist next week, but am struggling and need some words of wisdom. I know about myself that when the depression and anxiety start to rise up I tend towards impulsive/ self destructive burn it all down behavior. I also know that my job is currently in the midst of a major project that is going badly and huge issues around workplace morale. Much of the staff is job hunting, so this is an overall issue and not just a me issue. I am in a contract for my current role for another 5 months with a bonus at the end to entice me to complete it. The last two weeks though I have had the running screw this, you should just quit now and sort out yourself voice in my brain on repeat. This would not financially break me, but would mess with some long term plans for later in the year. Very long story to say, what kind of things do you use to start thinking sorting out what is real and what is depression talking? I am hoping the therapist can help, but have 5 days to wait and need to quiet my brain today.
I have had MISERABLE jobs, and long standing depression- for me what helped was to put something on my calendar in the future (I usually did 3 months)- like “if still miserable, quit job”. Usually things sorted themselves out by then. Also, a reminder that 5 months is nothing, people get through worse, and the extra money will help you take some time off/transition. Just my personal feelings, but I’m a slog it out kind of person that doesn’t like leaving money on the table- that doesn’t mean you can’t keep the door open for other better professional opportunities in the meantime.
I did that exercise once where I had to write down a work situation that turned me mad.
Then I had to rewrite it as though I was giving feedback to x like this: When you do XYZ, I see it as XYZZ and it makes me feel XYWWW. “When you criticize the team in front of the client, I see it as a dig to our credibility, and it makes me feel incompetent / small / stupid.”
Then I had to rewrite it (I know tedious) with just the facts and stripping my feelings: ” Calling your team stupid in front of the client is not professional – is unacceptable”
Once you end up with a much smaller, less emotionally charged piece of paper then you have a list of all the inherently negative facts. Everything else is down to my spiraling.
Also, whenever I catch myself trying to give ample context and justifications to someone before saying what fact is bugging me, then I know that it is my smart mind trying to mask my overblown anxiety so whomever hears the fact immediately validates my feelings rather than seeing it for what it is.
I googled workplace bullying yesterday and it really changed how I think about my environment. Maybe this will help calm you. Certainly stress from deadlines and things going badly on a project are normal, but if there are other aggravating factors outside of your control, it might be worth taking a gander at what workplace bullying looks like.
This is something I struggle with a lot at my job that is stressful and toxic. The thing is, I objectively know my job is stressful and toxic regardless of mental illness. Where my mental illness kicks in is how I react to it, and that’s what I try to control. Therapy, medication, exercise, spending time with friends to get out of my own head, even just reminding myself “this will pass” and “it won’t feel like this forever.” Good luck.
been there….please keep in mind you are human. Your reaction to poor behavior is normal and not necessarily “mental illness”. Take care of yourself – exercise, eat right, hobbies and friendships….if you are not able to do those things and find yourself constantly distracted by toxic drama or bad workplace behavior, you may need to consider exiting the environment. I learned to manage my reaction to toxic behavior very very well, but that doesn’t mean I was willing to accept poor behavior, unprofessional and nasty colleagues, backstabbing etc. You are a free agent and you do not need to tolerate these things…..there are good work environments and good leaders that won’t tolerate this type of thing…Good Luck!
Also anon for this
Overwhelming apathy. During the worst stages of a depressive episode, I didn’t care about anything or anyone, important or not. Work, school, home, friends/family, anything in which I have even a hint of interest. When work issues and only work issues have me fed up, I know it’s not necessarily depression rearing its ugly head. When I start aggressively losing interest in work related things *and* in things I like and find them difficult to engage with, then I know it’s likely my depression.
super casual offices
Is there anyone else on here who worked in an extremely casual office? I’m in a start up environment, jeans are on the dressier end of things here – most women, including management, wear leggings most days. I am totally fine with this – being comfy is great. But I’m a little bored/struggling with what to wear and could use some inspiration. Recommendations for more exciting leggings, cool but still professional sneakers, and especially tunicy or longer tops (I try to at least cover my bum). Anyone else in a similar situation? Things I’ve found recently that I’m enjoying – girlfriend collective leggings, they are totally opaque and just feel a little sturdier than others, express outlet of all places has amazing tunic length sweatshirts in pretty colors, I got a powder pink one I love.
Loft has some cute sweatshirt style tunic tops that have interesting details like scrunched sides or cowl necks. You might also try some wraps or sweaters from Athleta. A lot of them are long enough to cover and come in fun colors.
I work in a very casual office (mostly engineers)- a lot of my co-workers really like uniqlo. I usually wear dark skinny jeans, colorful flats, and something nicer than a t-shirt on top.
OP here: I work with engineers and when I dress like this I get comments on how i’m so dressed up! What you’re describing is the dressier end of the spectrum. It’s really extreme!
You do you. People will eventually get used to the way you dress and the comments will stop. Signed, always more “dressed up” than my peers
The engineers have been known to show up in cargo shorts in my office, so I hear you lol- but my particular group (mostly lawyers) meets with outside people, so we “dress up” in our jeans.
Look for athleisure – like cute/interesting sweatshirts.
holy shit, do not fall into the leggings as pants trap! RESIST. maintain minimum standards please!
leggings are pants now I’m sorry, it will be ok
They are really not. It sounds like OP is wearing them with tunics which is their intended purpose.
For tops, could you layer up longer sweaters and t-shirts/tanks? I would mix up textures and keep my leggings/pants solid.
For nicer tennis shoes – I love my Cole Haan GrandPro sneakers (I have both the lace ups and the slip ons). They are supportive but light and I feel much more polished with a leather sneaker.
Yeah, I’d really try to avoid leggings. If you must, Old Navy makes “Rockstar 24/7” jeggings that look more like skinny jeans, and Athleta makes some “Sculptek” jeans that have some stretch/movement to them. I find good tunic tops at Athleta as well, though their prices sometimes make me cringe.
thank you for making me laugh
As a long-standing member of Leggings Are Not Pants, I regret to inform you that we lost. Leggings are now pants.
Oh I agree. I’m over here clutching my pearls, worn unironically with a twin set. (For real, it’s what I’m wearing today). But if my office, including management, wore leggings, I’d run right out and buy a leggings wardrobe. Not adhering to the unofficial dress code as set by management makes you stand out, and not in a good way.
OMG who cares, let people where what they want. Leggings are awesome.
Why is everyone telling OP not to wear leggings? She stated that it’s literally what everyone including management is wearing. She knows her office and is asking for advice in that context. I don’t think they’re pants either and wouldn’t wear them to work, but it’s not my office we’re discussing.
I have people on my management team who wear wedge flip flops to work. I’m not following along just because it’s the office culture.
No one ever broke their ankle just because they were wearing leggings. Wedge flip flops are a safety hazard.
…but both look equally sloppy. Sorry guys, I love leggings. I live in sweatpants at home. But at the office, or any place I represent myself as an adult, I wear adult clothing. Now get off my lawn, please and thank you.
Because if you’re looking for “more exciting leggings” then there’s something gone horribly wrong. (I am kind of kidding. I get this is not a mortally important situation.)
OP what about Lularoe? They have lots of patterns, I think.
Lularoe is literally a pyramid scheme.
Ugh, is that still around? I thought it had died down. Haven’t seen the vendors at events or the leggings on people in the past couple of seasons.
well I think LulaRoe sucks too but it’s the first thing that comes to mind when I hear “exciting leggings.” I hate the whole idea.
No, patterned leggings are not the answer. I’d go for cute tennis shoes and cute sweatshirts first.
Yep, well said. If it’s the norm (and they are comfortable!) then wear them. I think looking for tops that cover your bum is a good compromise in this situation. Also, sorry world, but leggings are pants now. Accept and move on.
OP: Maybe look for some slip-on style sneakers? N*rdstrom has a whole category that could give you some brand ideas. I’m no help on the leggings–I prefer plain black LuLu because they are thicker than standard “leggings” so I feel like I get enough coverage to run errands or work out without covering my bum. Outdoor Voices are more expensive and have less-specific sizing but have fun colors. For tops, I just checked the N*rd “Tops” section of women’s clothing. They have a filter on the left side for “tunic”–seems like a great place to start.
Thanks! – popping back in to say I thought of colored denim for OP. Casual (maybe more so than skinny dark wash), bum-covering, never boring.
Hi thank you, this is what my workplace is like and I’m fine with it! It would be weird and inappropriate for me to dress more formally than others – at most I would wear jeans every day (but I don’t like them and they aren’t especially flattering on me). If I dressed up it would genuinely interfere with my work. Authority is not conveyed in the same formal way at a start up as it is at a law firm or more corporate environments, I’m really just looking for advice for the situation I’m in not anyone else’s! I like that my workplace is casual and I am not looking to change that. But definitely open to hearing about nice jegging type options that people know about! I bought a pair of lysse pull on “jeans” from nordies that I like a lot, thinking about getting another pair. I realize this is horrifying to others but I am beloved at my job and people senior to me compliment me on my sweatshirts and sneakers it is really fine!
How about leggings with a denim shirt?
oooh I like this idea a lot thanks!
Having worked in a start up similar to what you describe, I simply stayed the course and continued to wear suit separates. One difference is that in my company the male management is wearing slacks with a button down shirt (or maybe a polo shirt in summer). I know that some of you will say that continuing to wear suit separates is too formal, but it’s what I like to wear to work, it’s what I own, it looks good on me, and it makes me feel like I am “working”. It sets me apart and makes it clear that I am a senior member of the team. I’m also about one to two decades older than many of the engineers, and I don’t want to dress as they do. I actually think it’s important NOT to slide into athleisure with leggings and sweatshirts. This is a work environment, and I do believe it matters how you present yourself. I write this just to give you permission to dress the way you want to, even if everyone else is exceedingly casual.
I don’t want to wear suit separates and never said that I did. I actually transitioned from working from home and overbought more formal clothing. I’m the same young age as the engineers in my company.
J. Jill does such a good job with the flowy, tunic-y top thing!
I work in a casual environment to – I love leggings with boots and a longer top – Title Nine has great cozy tunics.
And Boden and Anthropologie have cozy longer sweaters.
I work in a super active casual place (Theatre) and I wear leggings a lot. I’ll often do leggings and a sweatshirt/ hoodie dress, or leggings and a short skirt and a fun colorful top and a long cardigan.
I like Uniqlo leggings because I like cotton content in my leggings. They can potentially be a little sheer, however.
That said, I appreciate what SSJD said about you being you and don’t feel pressured to dress a certain way.
At my workplace for pants I basically live in Uniqlo “Leggings Pants” which have a good variety of texture and pattern than regular leggings, but still are clearly leggings or their Slim Ponte Pants, which have more structure than their Leggings Pants but are slim fit enough to look similar to legging and for shirts their Rayon Stand Collare 3/4 Sleeve Blouse (they also have full length sleeve usually) which is long enough to mostly cover the butt, but not so long as to look matronly or Indian inspired.
Yep, extremely casual over here. Aerie actually has a tag online on some sweaters “made for leggings” to indicate they are long enough to cover your butt. I also wear a long chambray button down with leggings at least once a week, and am shopping for a long khaki shirt currently. I also like the look of the Old Navy tshirt dresses over leggings.
For slip on sneakers check out Steve Madden Ecentrcq, Dr. Scholl’s Madison, or UGG Cas.
I work from home mostly and live in those swing dresses. I can afford better (I also have some Jersey ones ones from Eileen Fisher in rotation) but always come back to those. They wash like a dream. Their shirt dresses are also great. (Mind you, I pretty much loathe everything else from ON, with most of it being too poorly made to bother purchasing.)
Small Firm IP Litigator
I used to work in an ultra-casual office. I mostly wore structured T-shirty dresses and flats/booties/stylish sneakers/sandals (and tights if cold), sometimes a casual skirt and top. I can’t really buy pants in my size, and dresses are more comfy anyways.
not leggings but not for pearl clutching reasons
I feel like leggings are starting to look a little basic/frumpy… if you can wear jeans, what about boyfriend jeans? I like the gap girlfriend jeans, cuffed, with a slightly shorter sweater (cropped but not midriff)
Yet ANOTHER snow day. I object to this insanity. That is all, thank you.
You can come visit my office. Last week we were worried about the pipes freezing. Today the problem is that the air conditioning is broken.
Why is it insanity? It snows during the winter. Yes it’s a pain, but…it’s not that unexpected, is it?
Eight snow days in the past ten weekdays is not expected…and now we are in the midst of an ice storm with massive power outages.
Point of clarification: by snow days, I mean schools closed due to weather.
Yep. I spent over 5 hours in the car on Tuesday to travel a total of 100 miles. Today, all my friends have been sent home early from work, it took me 20 mins to drive 2 miles home from the gym after my noon class. So over this.
No power now for 20 hours and they say we might have it back by next week.
Stay or Go - UPDATE
We. Got. The. House.
EEEEK. We had to bid a little more than what I was initially plugging in, but still at a discount to list price. So, our mortgage goes from $2,100 to $3,500 (not $3,100 as I was assuming before). This is inclusive of tax escrows. I’m sleeping at night over this because I’m looking at it as $17,000 more per year. So, I need to basically earn $20,000ish (ish because payroll taxes, etc.) above my deflated salary to clear that. Our goal is to grow a stash of cash with my commission checks over the next two years that we can use to pay down the mortgage and refi to a lower, more comfortable monthly payment level.
Also, we are getting a $9,000 tax return for the third year in a row. That right there covers half of this “overage”. My income fluctuates so much so that’s really hard to withhold appropriately and it’s not always going to be a guaranteed refund, but that certainly gives me more comfort.
Thanks for the advice of the hive! Fingers crossed – lots has to happen between now and closing, but so far so good.
Congratulations! That is exciting.
YAY! Thanks for updating us! How exciting!
That’s incredible! Congratulations!
Super exciting! I hear you on the taxes- we know how to do taxes, but somehow get the withholding wildly wrong each year. I think once you start paying that mortgage, you’ll realize it’s really not that much of a lifestyle difference.
Lana Del Raygun
Congratulations!!!!!! That’s so exciting! Also maybe change your withholdings?
That’s awesome, I am so excited for you! Congrats and I would like more updates as you go!
Congrats! Talk to your mortgage broker about splitting your mortgage between a primary and secondary (HELOC or something like that, perhaps?) That way you can pay off the second, smaller mortgage without having to refinance the first.
Congrats! That is so exciting!!
Omg omg omg I’m so excited for you! That was fast!!
I’m so curious about your mortgage. We bought for $700k at a 3.5% rate and our PITI is $3600/mo in a Boston burb (including $1600/year of homeowners). Are you putting signifigantly more than 20% down?
Insurance escrow is not included in those numbers. Taxes are. Mortgage only is about $2800 then $8600 in taxes, divided by 12 months. Tax figure will go up thanks to an override that passed in my town last year that takes effect 7/1/19, but that increase would have happened in either home so I’m not losing sleep over that or even factoring it in right now. And, yes, we’re putting down a fair amount more than 20% thanks to current home appreciated equity. That appreciated equity needs to be proven out when we actually go to sell, but we’re pretty certain we’ll get there.
Random clothing size hack I discovered this week: The length of midi skirts does not flatter me, but I love all of the fun colors and styles available right now. I figured out that if I buy a petite size one size larger than my regular size (a petite large since I usually would wear a medium), the skirts fit my waist but hit a more flattering point on my leg without having to hem anything. Especially helpful if the skirt has a unique hemline or a fabric that would be difficult to hem!
Honest question—are midi skirts flattering on anyone? They hit at the widest point of the calf and hide the nice toned part of the calf muscles. A shorter skirt that shows the whole calf or a longer skirt that just shows the ankles would be so much more flattering. Why are midi skirts so popular?
+1 I hate finding a skirt with a print I like and discovering it’s midi!
You could get it hemmed…
I like midi skirts. Mine make me feel elegant and as if I’m in a Ghibli movie.
Same, I love feeling elegant and retro.
Wondering the same. I’m 5 feet tall. Midi skirts look terrible on me, and just below the knee too. Just above the knee is ideal.
Idk because I have bought several dresses from Mod Cloth recently that are adorable, beautiful and from the hips up are perfect for me. From the hips down, they make me look like a munchkin wearing her mom’s clothes. I love that the skirts are not mini and I don’t worry about them being too short. But too much is too much!
They are wonderful for me! I’m 5’8 and cannot wear more skirts or dresses off the rack because they are too short. Midi skirts often hit right at my knee or just below it so I can wear them like a regular skirt. Wish they would produce them and just call them “tall” or something. :)
same!!! I only have a few regular skirts because if they are comfortably at my waist, they end up hitting about 6 inches above my knee :(
Small Firm IP Litigator
I’m 6’1″ and same.
I am 5’8 and most of them are rather unflattering on me. Some look nice when I wear heels, but they almost all look terrible when I wear flats.
They look fine on me.
I look awesome in midi-length dresses… like a few inches below-the-knee length in a straight skirt is my go-to for professional polish. It’s slightly retro look, but not costumey. Always with heels.
I love them. I think they look nice on me, but I wouldn’t really care if they didn’t.
Yes! They look great on me.
I think one of the problems with them is that they are a major silhouette shift from where style has been for the past 10 years or so. It takes a while for our eyes to adjust.
Lana Del Raygun
Ooooh you’re a genius.
I’m the opposite. I’m about 5’4″ and find that the shorter skirt lengths they are showing look terrible on me – somehow the skirts look as wide as they are long, giving me a nice square hip and thigh region.
So, when they are available, I order Tall sizes. The extra inch or so really makes a difference.
Also, I kind of like midi skirts, but I do think they need to be worn with some sort of a heel, whether a shoe or bootie, and a slightly pointed toe probably looks better. I do have rather thin calves and a very skinny bone right above the ankle – boots always tend to bag in that region – so that might help with the midi skirts.
Same – I’m 5’4″ and love mid skirts. I have a curvy hourglass figure, and I think midis look retro and elegant on me. I get nonstop compliments when I wear midi lengths. I agree with one of the posters above that regular knee length skirts sometimes make me look squatty and thigh/hip heavy, while midis + heels seem to lengthen more.
5’2″ and same here. I’m also one of those people who looks terrible in skinny jeans/pants/leggings, so I really welcome the midi skirt. But you do have to wear them with some sort of heel to look elegant, so it’s usually a dressy occasion for me, or I go funky and wear sneakers with a giant sole and an oversized top.
Thanks for the tip.
I’m tall with long legs and chubby knees. I look proportionally better when a skirt hits at the bottom of my knee. So midi skirts are great for me because that’s where they tend to hit on me.
My grand unified theory on midi skirts: if they hit you at the mid-calf they are unflattering on many people. This is because the skirt hits at the thickest part of of your leg that is visible. If your calves are very thin (see Meghan Markle) you’ll look good and on trend and all that. The rest of us look dumpy.
I’m entering a graduate program that requires an internship. A federal gov agency office where I interned during undergrad wants to hire me again. Except this time, the leader of this office wants my focus to be on writing (goes along with my program). He wants me to write speeches, press releases, etc for the office. That’s all fine with me. But he also wants me to ghost write articles for him…claiming that the agency would never allow an intern to publish these articles on behalf of the agency. I was initially flattered that the agency wants me again, but spidey senses are up here…these articles are not required by the agency and are purely for personal gain for him. He told me he wants the agency to get exposure for certain topics but doesn’t have time to write them. Add the irony that I have already been published in one of the publications that he “wants to get into”….this time my work would be in it again but would only have his name on it. This is weird, right? I want this internship because of the pay but something feels very off here. Or am I overreacting?
anon a mouse
When you say “for personal gain for him” — what do you mean? Like he wants his name on them but no affiliation to the agency? That would be weird. But if it’s run through the press office, and cleared through normal processes, then there’s nothing wrong. Most of the things you see published under an exec’s name were written by an anonymous staffer.
You can include that experience on your resume, just note that you wrote things for X leader, or published in such a publication under X’s name.
I guess the personal gain piece is that these articles aren’t required by the agency and I get the sense he just wants to be a published author.
Get used to writing things that are published or sent out under other people’s names. That is how things work. A generous and forward-thinking boss will list the intern or other contributor as a co-author, but many people don’t.
Ghost writing is way more common than you might think. I’m a D.C. lawyer working on policy and my name is nowhere on 90% of what I write. Our firm name doesn’t even appear on probably half of what I write – it’s ghost-written for our clients to send to their clients/customers.
I’m a little confused how something could go out on agency letterhead and simultaneously be “purely for personal gain.” If it’s on agency letterhead, it’s official in some capacity.
It’s not on agency letterhead, it’s like a synopsis of a case that the office worked on to be published as an article in an industry publication. Kind of like a case study.
Nah, that sounds par for the course. And you just put it on your resume as “Drafted ‘Title: Subtitle’ in XYZ Publication, Spring 2019 edition.”
From my experience, interns don’t get public credit for their work…kinda by nature of the gig. It’s different if we’re talking about PhD students doing published studies for journals. But for an article in an industry publication on the state of X policy? No one expects that the official actually wrote it himself.
Assuming he will be reviewing and possibly making tweaks to the articles prior to publication it wouldn’t even really occur to me to call this ghost writing. I’m a junior lawyer and to me that’s just doing the first draft.
Lana Del Raygun
No comment on the *ghost*writing aspect because that sounds industry-specific, but it sounds like you’d be working for the agency under him and also working for him separately but on material related to your federal position, so you’d have to check the details against the ethics rules on outside work. I would email your agency’s legal/ethics person (and if it turns out to be extremely hinky they’ll catch it).
How would writing articles that the boss would publish under his own name as part of his agency work fall outside of her federal position? I am not at a federal agency, but we routinely have interns and subordinates write parts of our articles and reports. It’s their job, not something extra.
Lana Del Raygun
I misread it — I originally thought, based on “not required by the agency and are purely for personal gain for him” that he was offering her a side gig. But I’m re-reading it again and if “the agency would never allow an intern to publish these articles on behalf of the agency” then it must be part of the job, so never mind.
That seems normal to me, and I don’t know why you think it isn’t official work. Yes, it benefits him because it gets his name out there. But it also benefits the agency, because they get their name out/get to highlight their experience with X. Assuming it goes through the normal process for approval (in my agency, you have to get approval for everything before it is published) then it is fine and acceptable.
I think it’s pretty normal to ghost write things when you’re an intern. Or even when you’re not an intern.
Hello New Yorkers! I am looking for recommendations for an Italian restaurant for Saturday night. We’re staying in Chelsea/Greenwich Village area but are not too constrained by geography. Details: Old-fashioned is good, price is flexible, not so noisy that conversation is difficult. Thanks!
Frankie’s 570 Sputino! (although may be a tad noisy because everything in NYC is…)
Love that place!
-If you can eat early/don’t mind not having to potentially wait, Via Carota is one of my absolute favorite restaurants
– Bar Pitti – same deal as Via Carota in that it is walk-ins only, but also requires cash
– Santina – not your standard red sauce Italian, more coastal/resort/seafood focused
– Pecora Bianca
– Café Altro Paradiso
LV is YUM CITY!
Dandruff shampoo recommendations? I have long, thick, wavy hair, if that matters.
Ketoconazole is what my dermatologist gives me.
I’ve been using a hair exfoliate from the body shop and it got rid of my mild flakiness. My scalp feels so much better!
Selsun Blue has been my miracle cure for pretty severe seborrheic dermatitis. Works wonders on my scalp, though I only use it 1-2x per week. It is a sulfide, so can dry out your hair if you use it too often, but I just concentrate it near my scalp and follow up with a deep conditioner.
I am pleased with the Living Proof “Restore Dry Scalp Treatment.” You apply it to dry, clean hair at the scalp and massage in. It has probiotics, which is really helpful for my yeast based scalp flakiness (per the derm) and it’s worked better for me than shampoo treatments. I apply before bed a few times a week, so it’s low-maintenance.
I stopped using products that contain SLS and used diluted vinaigre for a bit (after shampooing and before conditioning). That solved my previous life-long dandruff problem.
Trails in Sedona for Day Hike
Any recommendations for specific trails for a day hike in Sedona (whole day, but day hike)? Thanks, all!
Cathedral Rock is GORGEOUS. It will take most of the day. Bring water, snacks, etc. Avoid the cacti.
Camelback Mountain is also beautiful. Honestly every trail in Sedona is stunning so you really can’t go wrong.
I might be able to help. Here are some of the longer hikes we liked –
Bear Mountain – This one is strenuous, but worth it. We didn’t end up going all the way to the top b/c of a time issue, but it is hard but doable.
West Fork – This trail is very different for Sedona because it’s a canyon. Red rocks from different vantage point. Lots of tourists in the beginning including people with canes so very doable.
Hot tip – Do Devils Bridge but start out before sunrise. We went out there very early and were alone with one other couple and got to go out on the outcropping by ourselves. It was really special and not at all like the mob scene it can be. We are pretty experienced hikers but also love just meandering and scrambling, and can easily spend a half day exploring Bell Rock/ Courthouse Butte and the surrounds.
Bell Rock is gorgeous, not sure how long it would take to hike the entire thing, but you can also climb almost to the top. No gear required, and the views are amazing. West Fork is more of a day hike and relatively flat, but be aware that the trail crosses back and forth across the creek multiple times, so be prepared to possibly get your feet wet. It’s shallow, though, less than a foot in the areas where the trail crosses, unless you’re going in the spring when the snowmelt is heavy. West Fork charges to park ($10 per car for day use) and the parking lot is small, so get there earlier in the day to make sure you get a spot, as it’s one of the most popular hikes in the Sedona area. Otherwise you’ll have to park along Hwy 89A and it’s a narrow road around the West Fork area, so not the best to have to be walking along the road. Bell Rock requires a Red Rocks pass to park (or a National Parks pass- they honor it at that specific location), which you can purchase at the Sedona Chamber of Commerce or multiple other places in the area- the Forest Service website has a full list of the locations. A one day Red Rocks pass is $5. Devil’s Bridge is also a popular spot but can get very busy, depending on the time of year.
I posted yesterday about volunteering. Can anyone share places they volunteer in the DC area where you feel like volunteers are particularly impactful in terms of the positive effect they have on the communities they serve? I’m looking to find an organization that has a real need for my time. Thanks
If you’re in Alexandria, ALIVE is a great one. “ALIVE! is the oldest and largest private safety net dedicated to providing emergency and basic needs support to children, families and individuals living in poverty and with hunger in the City of Alexandria. ALIVE! serves thousands of people each month by providing food, shelter, emergency help and early education.” https://www.alive-inc.org/
There’s also the Carpenter’s Shelter, the Alexandria homeless shelter. https://carpentersshelter.org/volunteer/
What populations/issues/causes are you interested in? If you are comfortable working with kids, I highly recommend the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.
I’m mostly interested in poverty and at-risk youth, and I’m interested in tackling those problems by helping the affected populations build life skills, whether that’s anger management, healthy relationships, basic finances, reading, etc.
That’s the background I come from, which is why I’m interested in helping that population in specific ways. That said, I could get on board with anything that I think would really use my time for a positive impact on others.
I’m a Big for Big Brothers Big Sisters in my city. It is amazing. One on one mentoring, building a relationship with a high-risk kid/teenager that needs a good role model, and doing fun activities with them. Honestly one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done. I’m sure BBBS of Washington DC needs lots of mentors.
Bread for the City is a great org that might be able to use that kind of help.
Ugh. Just got scolded for communicating directly with a VIP instead of clearing it with my boss first. Even though she didn’t tell me not too, and I deal directly with VIP’s nominal peers all the time.
It feels crummy, and I worry I’ll never be able to read social cues.
It’ll be fine. This is not a social cue – this is Work Hierarchy, which changes from industry to industry and company and office.
At my first legal job, I learned that it is important how you enter people’s names on an email list.
No other job in any industry or office has really cared about that since.
You’ll be fine.
Ah I see you also worked at a firm that required you to list people on an email in order of seniority. That’s been such a hard habit to break :)
Ha, me too! I still do that, most of the time.
Also a member of that club. It’s ingrained!
Yep, I do that too. I once mentioned it to a colleague at my tech company and he had no idea what I was talking about.
I got scolded for including someone on an email because they might have to attend a hearing that I was emailing about in the email. SIGH.
A boss of mine did this once and he was a huge db (the vp didn’t care- but somehow my manager felt like I had somehow gone above his head and was super insecure)- I ended up leaving the group about a year later and it was the best decision I ever made.
Thanks–in this case we’re a very informal org, and the VIP is very nice. My manager was just gently letting me know that there’s a lot on his schedule/parts of the big picture that she could have filled me in on to avoid the questions in my email if I’d come to her first. Sigh…
Sorry your boss was a jerk, but glad you got out!
That doesn’t sound like a scolding to me, honestly. It sounds like going to her first would have answered many if not all of your questions. That, IMO, is preferable to reaching out to a VIP who may think hey, I already told manager all of this, what’s up? Or just plain not get to it because VIP is busy .
I am a manager and I would not have framed this type of interaction as me scolding my employee. I really don’t think it’s a big deal.
You didn’t specify but is it possible that your manager received the feedback herself? Maybe the VIP said “hey manager – I filled you in so you could handle this.” Sometimes it’s tough to get the balance though – I’m sure most of us have been there.
That’s a helpful scenario to think through–thanks. In this case, part of the relevant info I didn’t have was that VIP is traveling and not likely to be able to respond, so no, my boss didn’t hear about it.
Can some of the more financially savvy people explain to me the benefits of saving in a 401(k), especially for someone at a modest income level? I’ve always maxed my 401(k) because I know that’s what you’re supposed to do. But now I’m trying to learn more about it, and I realized that even though contributions are tax deferred now, you eventually pay ordinary income taxes not only on the contributions, but also on the growth. Why isn’t it better to just save after-tax money in an index fund so the growth is taxed as capital gains? I feel like the idea of tax-deferred retirement savings is predicated on assuming you earn much more now than you will in retirement, but our salaries now are modest (~$100k HHI) and we have almost no expenses and expect to accumulate a multi-million net worth before retirement, so it seems like income in retirement (due to required minimum distributions, if nothing else) is likely to be comparable or higher. Also my husband is in a profession where nobody ever really quits, and will probably work past 75 (assuming he’s alive and healthy, which I realize is an if) so we may have a significantly higher income in the years when he’s working and we’re required to take distributions. I know, I know, I should probably see a financial adviser who can comment on my exact situation, but if anyone here can explain the logic behind 401(k)s in a little more depth than just “saving for retirement is important” I would appreciate it.
A traditional 401k (tax deferred contributions) is most useful when you expect to have lower income (and in particular a lower marginal tax rate) in retirement than during your working years. Otherwise you’re correct that saving after tax dollars could definitely work out better.
But! See if your employer(s) offer a Roth 401k and/or start Roth IRAs! You put after tax dollars into those and the withdrawals are completely tax free. If possible, it sounds like that could work best for you.
+1 to Roth401k. My response is in moderation but this is good advice.
They are wrong. You do not pay taxes on the growth.
Everything I’ve found says you do? This is one of many sources I’ve looked at: https://money.cnn.com/retirement/guide/401k_basics.moneymag/index7.htm
“When you eventually make withdrawals from a traditional defined contribution plan, you’ll have to pay regular income taxes on the money you withdraw – whether the money came from your contributions, dividends or capital gains.”
If you have sources that say otherwise, I’d love to see them.
You don’t pay taxes on the growth per se- you pay taxes on what you pull out as if it is income…. at whatever the income tax is when you pull it out that year. So essentially that money that would have gone to taxes, is allowed to help your growth.
+1 team Roth IRA if you are making under the income cap now.
First, you should not count on him being able to work until age 75. If you are rolling in money in your 70s, that’s a good problem to have.
Second, your 401k contributions are taxed at your highest marginal rate now (or rather, your contributions would be taxed at your highest marginal rate if you were not putting them into a 401k). Your distributions, assuming you aren’t working, are taxed at the (how to describe this) average rate for your income.
Let’s say you earn $100k a year and put $36k into a 401k. You are now taxed on $64k a year, which is going to be a rather low tax rate.
Let’s say your husband stops working at age 70 and your 401k provides you with $50k a year in distributions. That will still be taxed at a lower rate than the *extra* $36k a year you did not pay taxes on now.
Yes – this.
Long story short — because you can control how much you take out in every year of retirement, thus keeping yourself in certain tax brackets. Right now, your income determines your bracket and you can’t/won’t just take a pay cut to get into a lower bracket.
But tax brackets are pretty meaningless, right? Just making up numbers, but if the bracket is 15% under $100k and 25% from $100k-200k, that sounds like a pretty big difference. But someone who earns $105,000 only pays 15% on the first $100k and then 20% on the remaining $5,000, so their total tax bill would only be a couple hundred dollars more than if the whole $105,000 were taxed at 15%. It’s not like being bumped into a higher tax bracket requires you to pay the higher tax on all your earnings.
Right, but that’s the magic of compound growth- $500/yr that you didn’t already have @ 5% interest would grow at to $22k-ish. Then the idea is that you’d be making less in your retirement, and pull out whatever the lowest tax bracket is- making it potentially even tax free. But this is all at the gamble that the tax laws don’t change significantly. I do it because I get an employer match and the tax benefit is just icing (for us, this $35k in income would be at a fairly high tax bracket). I did recently start splitting my retirement btwn pre & post tax, so that I can split the risk of our later income/tax laws.
Traditional pre-tax: good for higher earnings/tax bracket now, lower in retirement
Roth after-tax: good for lower earnings/tax bracket now, higher in retirement
You’re the perfect candidate for Roth accounts. Congress has them both on the books to fit individual situations.
Just Google “why are 401ks good”. You’ll get a much better explanation on a variety of websites than anyone should need to write out for you here.
I have been reading online a lot, but a lot of the explanations come back to “you earn more now than you will in retirement.” I’m really not sure that’s the case for me, so I thought I’d ask here. People ask pretty basic financial questions all the time, but thanks for the condescension.
One of the only way you’ll earn more in retirement in income (you may have plenty of money in the bank), is if you have an old-school pension that pays out a high portion of your salary. Since those are rare, it is unlikely (but of course possible). Or you are amazing at passive income- in which case, maybe go to an accountant- our accountant would tell us to put money in certain retirement vehicles when we were prepping our finances end of year.
I don’t think your first sentence applies to people just starting out in their careers.
We won’t have pensions, but it looks like the required minimum distributions on $2M (a huge guess, obviously, but I think we could each save something like that if nothing major goes wrong in our lives + market continues to grow as normal) start at around $75k at age 70. That’s half again as much as we make now.
Don’t forget to account for inflation. For most calculators, that 2 million is not inflation adjusted – it will be nominally 2 million, but will be “worth” much less due to the inflation that happened in the interrim inflation. The 75k will also be nominally that amount but worth less, e.g. the equivalent of $50k (making up numbers here).
Some calculators do account for this (it would say “in 2019 dollars”) but most do not.
Most 401ks these days have 2 options: the traditional contribution that is pre-tax money and a Roth 401k option that is after-tax money. I would do the Roth because you will not have to pay taxes on the gains when you withdraw in the future (when you’re in a potentially higher bracket).
Traditional 401k contributions with pre-tax money reduce your taxable income now which is nice. Also you don’t have any tax implications until you withdraw so you can defer taxes. Usually it’s better to pay taxes later than to pay them now. But if you might need the money for something other than retirement, then that’s another consideration.
Congrats on maxing out, that is great! Your money has so long to compound and grow.
Your situation sounds similar to time. I’m not an expert, but I think what you’re looking for is a Roth 401k (or Roth IRA). My company started offering a Roth 401k in addition to a traditional 401k, and for me, the Roth makes more sense as my money goes in post-tax. The way it was explained to me is that since you’ve already paid tax on it, you don’t pay tax again when it comes out. (Your company match, if you have one, will get taxed, but there’s no way around that.) I have a fairly modest income compared to most on this page, and I expect that with compound interest, my income in retirement could well be higher than it is now, so this makes the most sense for me. Hopefully this will give you something to g00gle!
Thanks this is helpful|! We opened Roth IRAs last year, mostly because we wanted an additional savings vehicle, but I will look into making our 401(k)s Roth. It seems like an option, at least at my employer.
Anon at 11:54
You can also convert your current 401(k) or IRA to a Roth version in some cases. I did it when I started my own firm and had a year of VERY low income. I took a tax hit that year (paid income tax on the converted amount) but my income that year is likely (hopefully) lower than it will ever be so it made sense. You may want to do some balancing in that respect.
You’re actually ahead of the curve to be paying this much attention. I echo the sentiment to look at using a Roth 401(k) or Roth IRA instead of a standard 401(k) or IRA, if available to you. If not, certain life insurance vehicles can achieve the same tax result–just don’t get oversold, the life insurance sales industry has a lot of people who are sales people above all else. Tax rates are currently at pretty historical lows, so it’s somewhat likely that the tax rates in our retirement years (I’m 36, for reference) will be higher than they are now. So even if your income IS lower in retirement, your tax rate might be higher because rates overall will be higher.
There’s also the fact a lot of companies do matching contributions on 401(k)s up to a certain amount. I think a lot of the “have a 401(k)” advice often assumes a matching contribution, so you’re basically throwing away free money if you don’t have one.
I think there is also a huge benefit to having savings that is dedicated to retirement and can’t easily be touched. Maybe the OP would be able to do that without a 401k, but the average American can’t/won’t.
Small Firm IP Litigator
I am with you in that I max out my 401k every year. I regret it for a few reasons: (1) not convinced I earn more now than I will when I am able to take money out of the accounts, and (2) contributing like this has postponed our ability to buy a home by several years while we pay rent in a HCOL city. If (1) isn’t true, particularly combined with the inability to start building equity in a home and the fact I can be trusted to actually save money without a penalty system in place, a 401(k) isn’t better than just saving post-tax money in a regular account, right?
I am trying to figure out how much I will contribute this year still – maxing out seems like it doesn’t make sense, but that is what you are “supposed to do” based on traditional financial wisdom. The cynical part of me thinks we are told to do this by the companies that benefit from us doing it.
Do any of y’all have good resources for finding a keynote speaker? Or even a specific recommendation for someone out of NV?
For this event they’re usually pretty generalist, like “the power of believing in yourself, as told by the cool story about the time i got stuck on a deserted island” kinda thing.
… Mostly, I would love to at least have someone on our list of potentials who wasn’t a straight white man…
Are you looking for the same generic message coming from a different source, or a new and interesting message? What type of event? Industry? At the conferences I go to, the keynote speakers are usually luminaries in the field or closely related fields.
Yeah, I’d be down with a luminary in our field, but I don’t really think that’s a thing.
I was imagining more or less the same message from a different source, or a cool message from anyone? Like once we had a speaker talk about how he started an organization to offer [innovative solution to problem tangentially related to our organization’s work] and that was pretty great.
Cyndie Spiegel is an amazing speaker. She just came out with a book, A Year of Positive Thinking. I haven’t read the book but I’ve seen her speak and I follow her on social media. She’s authentic and raw but also incredibly uplifting.
Oooh she looks cool!
Julie Lythcott-Haims is an amazing speaker, based in California. She has written books on parenting (How to Raise an Adult) and a powerful memoir that delves into race (Real American). Before becoming a writer, she was Dean of Frosh at Stanford and in big law.
Simon Tam is amazing. He tells the story of his Supreme Court case (on trademarks), but really it’s an inspirational tale of growing up as an Asian-American. It would work for lawyer or non-lawyer audiences. He spoke at an IP conference and people had actual tears in their eyes.
+1 The only time I’ve gotten chills and CLE credit at the same time.
Update on efforts to locate remains and buildings for the formerly enslaved persons who lived and worked on our newly acquired historic property:
I emailed the state historic agency (just the general POC listed on the website) and he responded and CC’d five colleagues, all of whom chimed in with a bit of info.
The state archaeologist who handles our part of the state is going to come out to our property for a visit and walk the land with us and tell us what to look for (probably things like the sunken spots one poster mentioned). He also mentioned that there are some prehistoric sites marked on their maps of our land(!!), so he said he’d check on them and point them out to us during his visit.
The state archivist who was CC’d also responded with a record about the white cemetery, and it turns out there’s an unmarked grave there of a woman who died in 1916 from a dreadful combination of breast cancer and childbirth. (And I’m sure there are many more unmarked graves, but at least we know now to remember Carolyn.)
This is so interesting. I hope you write an article or something about this! Please take lots of pictures!
Right? Please keep updating us on this, its fascinating.
Yes, this, I would read your blog, esp. with semi-interviews or video records of the (alive) people you meet and (dead) people you research.
Thanks for the update!
I, um, do have an IG for the house that I created for family and friends as we’re working to remodel/restore it. @cedarmoon1800
Btw, the way you phrased meeting (alive) people reminded me that my husband keeps joking about ghosts :) But the house has a really sweet, relaxed vibe – no spooky spots :)
I just followed your Instagram – I hope you don’t mind! So cool.
You’re about to get some new followers. Don’t be creeped out ;)
Had to decipher “POC” as Point of Contact, not that you were emailing some random Person of Color haha.
This is a very interesting saga, please keep updating!
I realized that after I posted! haha
Ha thanks for posting that – I was confused too.
This is so fascinating, thanks for sharing!
+1, let us keep following along!
This sounds amazing, thanks for the update! (and keep us
This is so intriguing!
Anyone here who doesn’t LOVE to travel? I feel like I’m in a location (NYC and DC) and economic class (lawyer) where people are either constantly returning from a trip or planning their next trip, like 5 times a year. Any school break is a go away vacation for them. That’s great for them and I’m not judging, but I feel like people act like I’m lame when they say — any trips planned — and I have nothing significant to say; in a work setting, I’ll play the game, but often it’s fairly half hearted to act excited about where I want to go next. Or my friends act that way when they know my last vacation was 2 or 3 years ago and I tend to think once every 2-3 years to some place like Florida is fine. Fankly my friends act like I’m being cheap but it’s not a money issue because I make the same as them and I think I save/invest a lot more.
Don’t get me wrong, when I go away, I do tend to enjoy the break from the routine. But to me it’s nothing more than that. It’s not like vacationing solves all problems etc. Yet I’m around people for whom vacation is the answer to EVERYTHING — hate your job, go on vacation; don’t get along with your family, go on vacation.
I didn’t grow up in NYC or DC with this kind of money, so my family wasn’t vacationing like this (nor were my wealthier friends really — maybe they went away a bit more but certainly not a trip for every winter, spring, fall break with another 1-2 trips per summer). Maybe it just wasn’t done as much in the 90s? We went away as a family maybe 3-4 times in 18 years. Anyone else like this out there?
Yes, travel has changed so much. In the 90s, flying was still expensive and a big deal, so most families took roadtrips to whatever scenic-ish thing was nearby or near relatives. If you think about it, most of our grandparents never left the country, and many of our great-grandparents never left their home state (wars and international immigration excepted).
I’m not a huge vacation person. We mostly just go see family. And that’s the thing – I don’t have enough vacation days to be constantly jetting off places and see family.
I had that rare family that traveled internationally every year when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s – not to see family, just because my parents loved to travel. My parents were ahead of the curve on travel for pleasure and also on visiting destinations before they became super popular. We went to Iceland in maybe…1998? Way before it exploded in popularity.
I travel a lot for work so the last thing I want to do on my personal time is get on a plane to go somewhere for “fun.” So I feel you. I have a husband and teenagers and travel can be eye opening and experiential for them so we do get on a plane from time to time and just suck it up, but sometimes I feel like I need a vacation to recover from my vacation. It can be a lot of work.
Our compromise is to do road trips most years for our kids’ spring and summer breaks (we live in California! We could road trip for a couple of decades and still not get tired of all the cool places to see!) but every other year we try to at least go to Hawaii, if not Europe.
I think travel has become a true escape- plus people love to show off flashy pics on social media. I personally love to travel and grew up travelling, my husband not so much… but we have entered into a time in our life where we have a little kid, I travel already a ton for work/visit family, and honestly, I just treasure being home on those long weekends when we can. I think a canned response of “I’m just enjoying a long weekend chilling at my house exploring our neighborhood” will be more than enough. Talking about vacations is the new talking about the weather- it’s just small talk.
I never really vacationed as a kid. Our annual vacation was one week at a beach that we could drive to. We went to Disney once.
I take trips now (solo) and I love it. I feel like the only time work ever really leaves you alone is if you’re out of the country. With any domestic trip, even to the opposite coast, folks seem to assume that I’m easily available. I see it happen with a lot of people. They take a trip to the mountains with their family and they’re working the whole time. Nope I need a real break, and if I need to go to freaking Australia to do that then I guess that’s what I’m doing.
+1 to solo traveling and loving it. I don’t work domestically when I am on vacation because I refuse to and my boss expects vacations to be vacations. I also tend to go places with terrible cell phone reception (whoops, but not really). Being out in nature is therapeutic for me, so that is what I do. I spend a week exploring a park, hiking, enjoying cute small towns, and interacting only with the people I choose to. It’s divine.
That said, no judgment from me if you don’t like to travel! I didn’t travel for a long time.
OMG, this sounds heavenly. I love taking back roads, checking out small towns, interacting with people who aren’t constantly worried about that ping on their smart phone, and enjoying all the nature everywhere.
Get me outta DC!
Me. Part of it, is I haven’t done it enough to feel “good” at it. Growing up, we went to visit family, or went camping (which I’m not crazy about), so I don’t feel like I was ever really exposed to the “go away on a fun trip” type of vacation.
I do still travel, mostly with friends, because I don’t want to NOT do it, but I’m definitely someone who’s happy place is curled up on a couch with a book. Or just being home surrounded by my own stuff. And doing things with friends in a place I’m familiar with.
Trip planning kind of stresses me out too, because I don’t know what I want to do and what is worth to see.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit a lot of different places, and have enjoyed it. But honestly, traveling is not relaxing to me. When I have time off work, I want to relax in my own home in my own bed.
+ 1,000 My bed, my casts, my stuff at hand, no responsibilities, no pressure…it’s a dream.
I don’t travel much these days, but have been all over the US and several spots abroad. I love hearing about peoples’ trips, but who enjoys the butt end of the “what! you don’t value the things I value in the exact same way I do! That’s something I need to get to the bottom of, right now!” conversation.
Gail the Goldfish
I think this is also a function of where you live and your age. A lot of my friends/co-workers in my current location (Southern city) don’t seem to travel nearly as much as my friends/co-workers in my old location (NYC). When they do go, it’s frequently just to the local mountains or beach for a week. This is especially true of those with children. Traveling with children to any sort of site-seeing destination just frankly sounds exhausting to me, so I assume that is why. Growing up, my family spent a week at the beach each summer and that was pretty much it. All our family lived closed by. I didn’t fly until I was 15, and now that I think about it, I’ve got a couple of cousins that I’m not sure have ever been on a plane, and we’re in our 30s. I love traveling (and trip planning! I would happily plan trips for my friends if they wanted), but I also need long weekends at home to recharge (and have limited vacation time). My ideal travel year is one international vacation, one week at a local beach to just chill, and then some time around the holidays where I go visit my family.
I didn’t grow up traveling because it was too expensive for my family. Now I only travel for enjoyment. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it!! That’s fine! However, I will say it’s something you should try if you can afford it and see if you like it. There are so many different types of places and styles of traveling that you can explore. Just do whatever works for you!
I agree re: traveling was different in 80s and 90s, with families.
It’s also that with social media, we keep up with each other’s travels a lot more, and people brag about it a lot more.
Traveling is not relaxing to me, either, but I like the adventure and new-ness of it. Then, when you return, you need a relaxing vacation from your non-relaxing vacation.
I’m not sure if you’re complaining or looking to commiserate. You are not the only person here that feels like this!
I think as long as you have something to say people won’t judge? I love to travel so I can’t say I understand it but if you can respond about X other exciting thing coming up then that moves the conversation.
I am from a different country, my parents didn’t have enough money to take us on vacations. I always wanted to go to new places, not much for relaxation, but to see a new place and experience it. So I do take 3 short vacations (about 4 days each) a year, mainly to national parks in the US (hey..US is a big and beautiful country !). My husband doesn’t like it much, he comes with me to give me company. For him, the idea of relaxation is when he meets his friends and family and spends time with them. So I get it that some people just are not into it.
I think traveling is one of those things that can be done in so many ways that there is a method for everyone to enjoy. And some people are more home bodies and there is nothing wrong with that. I, for example, don’t travel to “relax”, I can do that at home – I can do one maybe two days at a beach or cabin before I get antsy. I travel to explore, learn things, and have fun. My S.O. often comments that we need a vacation from our vacation. For me vacation is not meant to get away but approached the same way as a local hobby – to have fun doing something new.
It definitely impacts one’s propensity for travel on how you approach it strategically as well. After years of essentially country hopping at random intervals in my 20s, I’ve grown comfortable not planning too much or too far out. So long as I have a plane ticket, a hotel, and basic country facts related to safety, I’m ready to jet-set with a carry on packed in 30 minutes. For others it may cause stress and anxiety, so I can see how a vacation would not be enjoyable for them.
Just to add a different perspective – I think travel is important (if you can afford it, of course) because it exposes you to other cultures and ways of life.
This. It’s one of the shared values that DH and I have. We spend more on travel each year than our cars are worth because it’s important to us to expose ourselves and our kids to different language, cultures, and ways of life. To us, cars are just a functional thing to get from point A to point B so the same way you don’t understand why people vacation, I don’t understand why people spend more than 15K on a car. Different strokes for different folks.
One of our kids medical issues limit us to highly developed countries and not super long haul flights but there are still lots of places to explore. We don’t do formal ‘sightseeing’ with the kids. But I’d rather hang out with them on an Italian beach or the French countryside and meet/interact with locals in the grocery store or playground vs going to my local beach in the summer. Cheaper international flights and AirBnBs mean ‘travel’ is only a fraction of the cost it was in the 1980s and 1990s.
Yeah I don’t get this. How much language or culture do you get at the Marriott or the Four Seasons? Do you honestly think you are SO culturally aware because you spent 5 days in Spain and had your kids talk to the waiters?
Who stays at the Marriott type places if they want to have local interaction? Get a neighborhood Air BnB and meet local kids at the neighbourhood playground. Most elementary schools have a playground.
Last time we were in Italy we made friends with an Italian family that sat next to us on the beach one day. Look for places that don’t have multiple language versions of their websites and you’re less likely to end up with a bunch of out of country tourists. It may be news to you but Greek people vacation in Greece as well and Italians go to the beach in Italy. Avoid American resort enclaves and you can actually meet people.
Do they pick up a ton of language? Of course not but my kids are elementary school age and can say hello/goodbye/please/thank you/can I play with you in about 5 languages (English, French, German, Italian, Swedish). It’s not language immersion – it’s about experience life in different places that includes food, language, culture and history. WWII has a lot more meaning when you’ve actually walked the trenches in France for example.
And who vacations for 5 days? Stay like two-three weeks to get a proper feel for a place.
I agree with this. I think certain kinds of travel can be educational and important for kids. I’m excited for my kids to go to the Galapagos Islands and learn about the wildlife there, and to go to Rome and see that history in person. But your kids are not more better or more open-minded just because they go to a luxury hotel in Europe vs road-tripping to Kansas to see their second cousins. In fact many privileged American kids would probably get a lot more out of visiting middle America or less affluent areas of big cities than they would out of going to a neighborhood of a city much like their own that just happens to be in Europe.
And I always roll my eyes HARD at parents who believe trips to luxury beach resorts are educational just because they visit a new country. Your kids are not learning anything about Jamaica or Jamaican culture just because you went and spent a week at Beaches Negril. If anything, being surrounded by wealthy, mostly white people and being waited on hand and foot by all the Jamaicans probably serves to make your kids less open-minded.
Don’t hate on staying in the four seasons! I like to get my culture during the day and return to the amazing hospitality of a hotel. Keep your airbnb’s! I think being in a fancy hotel adds a relaxation element and balances out the site-seeing/tourism/adventure stuff.
I have no idea why the responses
We’ve gone to beaches lots but many countries have public beaches with apartments to rent or campsites nearby. There are still many places in Europe where you can vacation and not see other English speaking tourists the entire time. My kids have never seen a Lux beach resort in their lives.
My husband feels similarly. He travels a fair amount for work (including internationally), so it’s not like he’s scared of flying or uncomfortable visiting foreign countries, but he just doesn’t understand traveling for the sake of traveling. He will happily visit friends or family, but he doesn’t want to go look at scenery, explore a new city or relax at a beach. It’s been a bigger issue in our marriage than I anticipated, because I love to travel (not to escape my family or job, but just because I think it’s really fun) and realizing that I’ll never have a spouse who is an enthusiastic travel partner has been hard, especially as my friends get busier with their own families and have less interest in girls trips.
I treasure my memories of family road trips growing up, but we did not fly unless there was a funeral. Vacationing meant seeing family, camping, or going for a 1-2 night trip to our favorite rural mom-n-pop ski hills on spring break (these were not glamorous ski vacations by any means, but I loved them). Traveling now is a bit of a gamble for me. I don’t have a fear of flying, but having to change flight plans makes me very anxious, and so does bad weather if I’m driving. If things like that happen, or come very close to happening, I often come home more tired than I was when I left. I sometimes wonder if I went to the same place at the same time of year repeatedly it would feel/become more relaxing as I got accustomed to it.
I don’t travel to relax, I travel to see new things. I love wildlife, and love to go places where I can spend time out in nature seeing animals. It is relaxing to some extent because I’m normally off the grid (most of my vacations have been to places without internet and limited phone access, somewhat by design when I was in BigLaw), but it’s more about seeing things I haven’t experienced before.
If that’s not for you, no big deal. Just like I enjoy hiking, but don’t care that many of my friends don’t
We didn’t go anywhere when I was a kid, domestic or international. Except for Disney (Anaheim), because we lived two blocks from it.
As an adult though, I love! to travel. And I love taking my parents with me. My dad is a geography ace and will tell us various names for a country, or if ten countries used to be one, or one country used to be two etc. Now that I can afford it, I want him to go see the world he had only read about. But yeah, I don’t give other people a hard time if they don’t enjoy traveling. Different strokes for different folks, as with anything else.
I think this is a northeastern thing. When I was growing up in SoCal, nobody went on frequent vacations. A few of my friends went to London or visited their parents’ home countries once or twice during their entire childhoods. Immediately after college, I moved to the Boston area. Everyone I met there was constantly on vacation. The schools gave a weeklong February break (for ski or beach trips) in addition to the standard weeklong spring break. There were also tons of people who owned vacation homes where they would spend every weekend during the summer. Now I live in the south.
I only like to travel to certain types of places. The types of family vacations/friend travel I used to do to the Jersey shore or Florida was really not appealing to me, to be honest. I’d rather stay at home than go to either place, but take me to say Buenos Aires or the Swiss alps and it’s a different story.
Need job search advice
What do you think is the minimum relationship needed before reaching out to someone for a referral? Is a co-worker from 5 years ago who I never worked with directly someone I should reach out to? How about someone I met at a conference and had a 10 minute conversation?
By referral, do you mean someone at the company that you want to refer you to HR or the hiring manager? I wouldn’t reach out with that request, but would reach out and ask if they had time to talk about the culture of the organization. Truly approach the conversation as an opportunity to learn about the org and potentially about the role. At the end of the conversation, I would then make the ask if you are still interested