I have an interview for an urban planning job (yay me!), but I feel a little worried about the interview. [more inside]
I am a 29 year old American expat, living and working abroad in BRICs for nearly 6 years now, who needs help in getting my financial act together. Due to limitations of my company- I have not been able to contribute to a 401(k) for at least five years now, and in the last few years my salary has exceeded $135k/year, so I can't even contribute to a Roth IRA. As far as I can understand, there isn't really anything more in the basic United States system for retirement that I can take advantage of… so now what? Am I really on my own now? Are there any websites with info geared towards this? Or should I get a financial/wealth planner? Or an "expat" tax accountant? Or both? How do I even start to find one? I have no idea what to look for! [more inside]
It's time for us to start spending money for our wedding. How do we do this? [more inside]
I have a master's degree in urban planning but I've been out of the field for a few years and want to come back with really strong skills. I'm not very good at self-guided learning, since I need the discipline of having assignments and deadlines. I struggle with ADHD, so just staring at an iTunes video will not work. I'm also low on cash right now. Please tell me about the online courses and/or certificate programs out there that are easy on the wallet. [more inside]
I'm seeking as many opinions as I can get from people with knowledge of financial advising and/or trusts & estates and/or estate planning, about what my parents (in their 80s) ought to do with their $250,000 in liquid assets. I'm NOT looking for the kind of detailed plan we'd get from an advisor whom we hire; I'm looking for short, quite general, common sense answers (such as "These ONE OR TWO types of instruments are good/bad; all others are to be avoided/considered.") I'm also looking for as many answers as I can get. In order to get that assortment of answers, I want to disclose only a very few specific things about the folks: 1. they currently rent an apartment; they do not own a home. 2. they are in their 80s--relatively healthy and can drive, shop, take care of themselves, but I'm not sure how long that'll last. I'd like to see them in a retirement community within a couple years. 3. Their only income (which doesn't amount to much) is social security. 4. They lose about $2,100 in total expenses every month. That's just about equal to what they take in each month. 5. Their one and only significant asset is a liquid $250,000. Okay, at their age, and considering all the above, WHAT IS/ARE THE MOST PRACTICAL THING(s) THEY SHOULD DO WITH THAT LUMP OF LIQUID MONEY? THANK YOU from their worried adult child with a family of my own!
My brother and I would like to give my parents a large chunk of cash this Christmas with the intent that they use it to travel. How do we do this most effectively? [more inside]
I am helping my parents plan their retirement by looking into possible cities and/or communities for them to settle. My father has worked in NYC for the duration of his professional career and wants to retire somewhere in the Northeast. After much internet research but very little progress, he wants to spend Sun-Tues (Oct. 13-Oct. 15) driving around DE, MD, PA, and northern VA to scope out possible areas. I have been asked to accompany him on this trip but I want to create some structure around the trip to avoid simply driving around aimlessly. [more inside]
We're going to move from the southern part of Alameda County to somewhere between Martinez and Oakley in eastern/northern Contra Costa County. We have a few complications (of course!) and not much moving experience. Can you tell us how to plan? [more inside]
I'm entering what I expect to be a very busy year: busy full-time job with frequent evening and weekend work, graduate classes one night a week (plus homework), and a large writing project due next year. I find that I can get really overwhelmed and stressed when my schedule gets locked in and deadlines line up. I'm trying to find ways to simplify and ease my daily life so that I don't add additional stressors. What are your best time- and stress-saving tips for getting through intensely busy times? [more inside]
I proposed a date to a guy I'm seeing casually, and he turned it down without offering another solution. I'm starting to feel that I'm putting in more effort than I should at this point. Should I ask him if he still wants to date in general? [more inside]
A for-profit business has set up a school for 'troubled' youths on our road without any planning permission for change of use. They are now retrospectively asking for planning permission for this and in addition, using two adjacent houses for the same purpose (change of use from residential to D1). In forming our objections, I have a few questions that I cannot find the answer to.. [more inside]
My boyfriend and I are planning a (somewhat) last minute camping trip to Maine. So far these are the details we have finalized. The trip will be from August 3-14, we will be staying in Kennebunk for a night, and we will spend 3 nights in Camden Hill State Park. [more inside]
I've got a notion to organize a movie screening of some sci-fi movie at a local theater, and sell tickets. It seems to me that the easiest legal way to do this is to buy the performance rights and rent a screen at a franchise theater. Assuming I know ahead of time what those costs are, Kickstarter could be the ticket sales mechanism. [actual question inside] [more inside]
I'm a formerly broke person who is beginning to become unbroke, although not without stumbling from time to time. I have a few strong goals - buy a house, get my student debt in order (not paid off - just in order), save up enough for a couple of large ($5000) purchases, improve my credit score to mortgage-minimum. I need help getting there. [more inside]
My city banned the construction of high-rise buildings in the eighties. Political winds have shifted (along with economic growth) and now city hall is set to make some permissible again in a new specific plan for the downtown. My layman's intuition combined with some background reading tells me there is a big difference between a well-designed high-rise and one that's poorly designed. I want to be more conversant with the design issues involved so I can contribute intelligently to the civic discussion. What key articles, reports, manifestos or monographs should I read? [more inside]
For the past year I've been trying to bike down every street in St Louis. In the beginning this was easy and wide-open and fun. The middle has been less so. Now, sitting at ≈65% completion [map: zoomable | 1.5mb png | GPX] my current approach has become overwhelming and tedious, and is no longer working; I need to get way smarter about this. How would a programmer, a mathematician, or a GIS/transit specialist approach this endgame, and what tools/software would he/she use? [more inside]
I love cooking, I do! But I really only love cooking for others. Come the weekend, I'll happily slave over brining meats that end in elaborate 120-step preparations. I have made food from the French Laundry cookbook that basically tripled my grocery bill. I love it. But Monday through Friday, when its me and my tummy, I could kind of care less. I live a few miles from the nearest grocery and so I'm car-less, which means if I don't buy for the week, I don't buy at all. I'm also stupidly busy which means that a lot of the time I'm either paying way too much for lousy chain food or eating gummi worms for lunch. [more inside]
I hired a month-by-month financial adviser last year after my divorce to help me get things in order. The guy I worked with left the company last year on May 13. He called me yesterday, 366 days after he left from his new gig wanting me to be his client again. (non-compete plus 1) That's when things got weird. [more inside]
I travel on a semi-regular basis and would like to become a better traveler, both in terms of trip planning and packing/unpacking/repacking. If you travel frequently, how do you do it? How can I up my game? [more inside]
My main squeeze is moving in! Our finances are starting to be a little more comingled and I'm looking for the best, healthiest way to start having a regular "money check-in" as part of our new life together. He is on board with this. How do we structure the conversation? Is there a sample agenda? Do we make it a date night? Help, please. [more inside]
So, I'm trying to get some opinions here: My fiance and I have been engaged for 4 months and are in our mid-20s. We are both in school (undergrad for him, grad for me), but due to my income, we wanted to wait one more year, so that it would be financially better for us (e.g., paying tuition, etc). We are both interested in having children, however, something has come up for me health-wise (ulcerative colitis) that would make it less safe (because of medications) to have a baby later on, compared with now. Here are my questions for you: 1) Would you have a baby before marriage? What would be the reasons? 2) Has anyone actively planned this before? How did it work out? I know some would say suck it up and push up the wedding, but it would save us a good 20K or so.
Suppose that I have a website that has frequent traffic. This traffic is consistant and predictable. How do I begin monetizing it by selling ad space? Where would I get in touch with these mythical people who would pay to have their ads displayed on my website? Is it customary to get paid per click or per view? Are there different rates depending on the readership? Educate me, Metafilter!
My husband is driving me up the wall. He has always shown a reluctance to make a plan for anything, but I love planning stuff (trips, etc) so it's never come to be a huge issue. Except for now. [more inside]
So I got accepted to my doctoral program (vet med - yay!). Before it begins in August, how can I best use my time between now and then? Looking mainly for non-obvious stuff (work, save money, sleep, etc). Any other general tips for surviving the program would be gladly accepted.
In New York, and many other cities, developers can build bigger buildings than would otherwise be allowed, as long as they provide amenities such as parks, schools, affordable housing, etc. I want to show students how this works by providing a photo or drawing of a real building, annotated to show how much of the height is due to these bonuses. For example, a drawing of a 50 story building, where the first 30 floors are unannotated, but then 30-35 are labeled "plaza," 35-40 "affordable housing units," 40-45 "subway entrance" and so on. I want it to be from a real building, and clear enough to show via a projector. I'm surprised this doesn't already exist, but I've done plenty of searching and can't find it.
I'm desperately trying to become an adult (finally!), but I can't wrap my head around 'classic' budgeting software. Suggestions and tips to find what I really need? [more inside]
I would like to hear about the little things that really stood out and details you still remember to this day from conferences or conventions in any field. [more inside]
My friends are all prepping for careers, and I'm wondering how I'll balance mine with the many things I want to do that are (probably) mutually exclusive. Looking for insight. [more inside]
My office delivers projects - about thirty a year, about four months each, give or take a few weeks if they go well. They're always late, but when planning the next project, we use the same optimistic assumptions. I think reference class forecasting (RCF) could help. Any pointers for (or links to a crash course in) using RCF to turn a spreadsheet full of historical start / end dates and milestones into more accurate forecasts? Or is this something best left to a math geek?
If you keep a diary or other secret papers, do you have a plan for what happens to it if something happens to you? [more inside]
Teacher Filter: Increasing the efficiency of creating lesson plans [more inside]
Looking for activity ideas for a singles night in a small restaurant. What doesn't make you cringe? [more inside]
in my mind i envision a website where you put your departing airport and the site pulls together current last-minutes deals to all sorts of destinations [more inside]
I'm an event planner. How do I analyze my events? [more inside]
Help me add new dishes to the menu. Difficult level: kosher-style, pescaphobic, non-dairy, mushroom hater. [more inside]
I was asked to consider teaching for a couple of days at a university here in the UK which is great. But I have zero experience in creating lessons plans. I have found some useful free-to-use lesson plans online that I am tailoring but I can't seem to get an indication of what I should provide to the university department leaders in advance. Should I only send the lesson plan and readings? Should I omit readings from what I send my future bosses? Help me make a proposal map so I can sort it all out for the future! It's a media studies department FWIW.
What does a 9-year-old need to do now to become President of the United States? [more inside]
Help two budget wedding dorks make the most of appointments, touring venues, etc. What questions do we need to ask in person? How do we get it all done in a weekend? Can we get discounts on entry fees for looking at all these places? [more inside]
I am taking a trip to Salem (MA) this weekend with several friends. The general goal is to have lunch together and see some of the cheesy haunted house attractions. What else should we see while we are there? Are there any non-cheesy attractions that are simply too good to be missed? [more inside]
What's that movie? filter: I'm looking for the title of a classic movie where a couple plans a wedding and it makes everyone unhappy. [more inside]
Two linked questions about early pregnancy. [more inside]
I've somehow been tasked with organizing a family reunion for my HUGE family. There could be up to 75 people there if everyone comes with spouses/SOs and kids. I plan large events for work and have done travel events like this (bachelorette parties, ski weekends) for smaller groups, but this is a real challenge for a group this large. Advice? [more inside]
Tell me your recipes that get much easier with a little bit of advance planning! I like cold-brew coffee and this recipe for hash browns, not just because they're tasty, but because they're less work than regular coffee or hash browns, as long as I remember to do a tiny bit of preparation the night before. What else is like that? (If you have some non-food tips that fit the theme, that's good too...)
Launching a freelance career, starting a training program and planning a wedding. Please help me get organized before my life spins out of control. [more inside]
How do you set yourself up for maximum success when starting a creative project that requires consistent production? Or: I have to create multiple radio pieces a week! How do I best prepare myself to get out there and make them? [more inside]
What are some good MA programs in Urban planning in the US? With emphasis on working from the architectural side on large scale developments, particularly in relation to tourism. [more inside]
How the hell do I teach sixth grade social studies? [more inside]
So I'm thinking it's a bad idea to include a chapter by Jonah Lehrer in my college's first-year experience course, given that it would be placed right after our discussion on academic dishonesty. Can you help me think of a replacement? [more inside]
I'm a young person with no debt and a pile of money to invest. The catch: I'm not real confident about the long-term health of the US economy. [more inside]
Help me find a wedding planning website. Tried 'theknot.com' and I can't get past how disorganized & visually chaotic it is. [more inside]