Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 8902656 times)

BDWW

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19950 on: April 12, 2018, 11:07:14 PM »
I worked for a Huge company that did some great things like golf outings in other states. Hotel, airfare, meals, golf and entertainment for those who didn't golf, awards dinner. It was wonderful and amazing! I got to see stuff in another state I would have never experienced had I not had that opportunity! It was awesome I although it was probably in the year 1999, I will never forget it! Please don't stop doing such a nice thing for your employees. There is always an idiot who will ruin it for everyone. Maybe if you make some kind of a document they need to sign with all the details listed and once they sign, they have to abide by what is presented. It is a wonderful perk! I am sure your NORMAL employees have appreciated it!

Same here, my now fiancee and I actually first met and got to know each other on our company trip. Two and a half years later we're getting married!

Hmm, fraternizing on the company dime. Sounds like a reason to cancel these trips to me !  :)

Prairie Stash

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19951 on: April 13, 2018, 10:06:27 AM »
@CoffeeAndDonuts . . . That is just staggering. I, too, am part owner of a company and would love to be able to do something similar for our staff at some point. This employee’s behaviour, besides being a ridiculous financial train wreck, would feel like a slap in the face.

It did. I had a very hard time keeping my responses civil. We went in circles and circles. Each one felt more ridiculous than the last... When they wanted to see proof of expenditures and comparison to spending on other employees (they were coming from different cities and costs varied slightly as we booked over about a week), I just about lost it. It felt like a child cross referencing not just the number of gifts received but the dollar value to ensure they got their fair share relative to their sibling. Screw dollars - everyone got the same # of nights at the same hotel and same dinner and a plane ticket on a non-stop flight at reasonable (and higher cost) times.

As an aside, I went out of my way to keep costs down and encourage people to extend the 3 day weekend to longer if they desired. In this case, I happened to have a Citi Prestige card where the 4th night of a hotel stay is free. The culmination of that benefit and the fact that rates were slightly cheaper booking a longer stay resulted in a mere $100 upcharge to move from 2 nights to 4. The room's base rate was ~$150/night ($300) and doing so involved extra hassle for me because they needed to stay under my name.

I finally shut it down saying that I was done talking about this over email and that if they wanted to discuss this further, it'd be in person.

They didn't take me up on that offer.

Side note... I honestly don't think employees know how much insight I have into their financial lives just by listening and having to sign off on the retirement contribution, expense reports, and hsa forms. I struggle not to cross the line into giving unsolicited advice.
Are you hiring? let me dust off my resume :)

JetBlast

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19952 on: April 13, 2018, 07:48:00 PM »
Interview prep is very common in my industry. Between knowledge exams, personality exams, and HR interviews, most pilots feel the need to prep as best they can and knock of the rust. Moving from a regional airline to a major can be worth $3 million or more over an average career so the $400 bucks for test prep and a few mock interview sessions is a small price to pay.  It’s certainly possible to get hired without the prep, but most want to put everything they have into getting hired.

Recently had a newhire in the flight deck observer seat. We are all chatting in cruise about the hiring process and he says he didn’t do anymore because money was tight. Fair enough. Ten minutes later he asks if either of us own an airplane. He’s looking at buying one to fly his family up to the property he wants to buy in Montana.

eliza

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19953 on: April 13, 2018, 09:06:43 PM »
@CoffeeAndDonuts  - That's awful.  I do hope you don't let one bad (ignorant) apple spoil the perk for everyone.

I've been on the other side of absurd travel expense policies - my favorite was the time I was told that I couldn't stay at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas because it was "a resort" and that I could only stay at the official conference hotel at the official conference rate.  I tried to argue and got shot down.  So I stayed at the Aria --- which cost the company over $800 more for four nights. 

There was was also the time that I needed to get to NYC ASAP for a project that was going off the rails.   The direct flight was sold out in coach, but there was a first class ticket available for ~$500.  Instead I had to take a ~$900 coach flight with a stop in Chicago.   I get that there need to be rules, but let's stop and apply a common sense test - should we (a) book the more convenient and cheaper flight?  or (b) spend way more money for a far less convenient flight?   

Dollar Slice

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19954 on: April 13, 2018, 09:13:49 PM »
There was was also the time that I needed to get to NYC ASAP for a project that was going off the rails.   The direct flight was sold out in coach, but there was a first class ticket available for ~$500.  Instead I had to take a ~$900 coach flight with a stop in Chicago.   I get that there need to be rules, but let's stop and apply a common sense test - should we (a) book the more convenient and cheaper flight?  or (b) spend way more money for a far less convenient flight?

Maybe you could offer to pay them the difference out of your own pocket! ;-)  And if they agree, give them an invoice for $400.

DutchGirl

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19955 on: April 14, 2018, 06:06:38 AM »
I found out my (old-fashioned but reliable) pension plan at work showed the wrong numbers for 2017. The income they reported for me for 2017 was wrong. So first I phoned them, but they blamed my workplace's salary administration for giving them the wrong numbers. Called the salary administration and yes, they made a mistake and were now communicating with the pension plan to set things straight, and this was a companywide problem, not just me.

This is important for my colleagues as well, specifically when you're planning your retirement or when  you want to know, how much more you can/should put aside.

So, at a meeting:

Me: "I noticed that the numbers that were reported to the pension plan for 2017 are wrong. But the salary administration people are fixing it. I wanted to let you guys know. Check your numbers in a month or so, they should be corrected by then."
My colleague: "Ugh, I never look at the pension plan information. I know I haven't saved enough, so I know that I can never retire anyway."

She's 55 years old or so, so now would still be a good time to try to make things better. Burying your head in the sand isn't going to help for sure...

So after the meeting I have offered to take a look at her paperwork with her - acknowledging that we're colleagues too, so that she may not want to do this with me. But if she wants to, I can explain things to her. I'm not as pessimistic about this as she is, given that she has worked all of her life (although sometimes part time) and that in our line of work you generally are forced to put money away in a pension plan automatically. (Obligated standard deduction from your paycheck). Maybe she's in a better position than she thinks she is.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 06:11:41 AM by DutchGirl »

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19956 on: April 14, 2018, 07:51:36 AM »
A nice older fellow in the office is contemplating retirement.  He is a stress puppy and 10 years ago had a sort of nervous breakdown and took several months of disability; he took 3 weeks over the winter because he just "couldn't stand it anymore."  I do hope he can retire soon, the job seems to be killing him.  He seems to be making plans to go though and I just hope he makes it. 

He came by at lunch today and asked me, if it were up to me, would I take a lump sum from a pension plan or take the payments?  Easy, I would take the lump.  In fact, that is what I did from my last job--  take the lump and roll it into Vanguard.  I noted to him that I am 49 though and solidly among the Gen Xers that have a really strong cynicism streak.  My generation lived through the break up of Ma Bell and have watched many a pension plan get "altered under the terms of the bankruptcy" like United Airlines, Enron/PG&E, Kaiser Aluminum, etc.  A bird in the hand I say.  I of course cautioned him that I was only giving my opinion and he needed to get some professional advice. 

Turns out he had asked everyone in the office, essentially he was taking a poll to try to decide what to do.  He has to get some serious advice or do some research.  He has been with the company more than 25 years in its various forms and is doing the classic "wait till I am eligible to draw a pension and wait till maximum retirement age for SS" and it might just kill him. 

This was a good living color lesson and a reminder to go early.  All this waiting for someone else (the gov't, a company) just ain't going to work for me.   
Oh my. Can you point him towards a suitable MMM or Bogleheads post for basic investment advice?  Mention the 4% rule to him?  You might just make the rest of his life a lot better.

I have done so before, yes.  In the past I forwarded him the great GoCurryCracker entry on the advantages of a big HSA, talked quite a bit about index investing, etc.  I framed these things as a "this is what I do" rather than some direction of what he should be doing.  He seemed to take an interest, but he is really well set on a path of pension/SS and a whole lot of stress-puppy fear.  He is in his 60's now so there is a lot of baked-in Boomer history and it is hard to change to an X-er more cynical mindset all in a snap. 

I did see the light of recognition in his eyes when I described the pain of United Airlines and PG&E retirees getting jacked around.  I think generally there is still some sense that it couldn't happen to us even though our company is an enormous conglomerate of several acquired companies itself.  This guy has lived through 3 mergers alone and the rules for his pension have not changed (it was always the absorbed company that got pension plan rule changes and disappointments).  Next time it could be us who are the kibble being swallowed by a bigger company and all bets are off.

I just hope he gets out soon before he has a stroke at his desk.       

eazyebeneezer

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19957 on: April 16, 2018, 07:27:16 AM »
As I've gone down the path of MMM with a vengeance, I've been setting up all the tax-deferred retirement accounts I have access to. When I tried to open a 457b to add to my 403b, my payroll department was dragging their feet starting the contributions. I contacted them to ask when contributions I had authorized would begin. They said someone at the town (I'm a teacher) had blocked it because they didn't think you could have both a 403b and 457b. Of course I know this to be patently false, and I was furious, but I just asked them to double-check, which they did and promptly set it up. Think of the misinformation this person has been giving for who knows how long!? DO YOUR JOB!!

rg422

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19958 on: April 16, 2018, 12:10:43 PM »
It was open enrollment (annual mandatory insurance enrollment, 403B, etc)  at work last week. A coworker, pleasant to work with and definitely hardworking, was sharing how tough her family's finances have been. She's a clerk, so I'd guess she makes $15-18 an hour, just based on what other clerks make at the company. Apparently, she cannot afford health insurance for her family, which costs $229 biweekly. With her permission, I offered to give some advice. It turns out, her husband doesn't work full time; he just picks up odd jobs here and there. So aside from their mortgage payment, utility bills, etc, they just purchased a new car (their current SUV is fairly new) and paying $432 a month, and just purchased everyone in their family a new IPhone 8 which costs them $328 a month! On top of that, she purchases lunch at the cafeteria every weekday. She had excuses for every advice I gave her, but I ended the conversation by telling her she needs to prioritize things they need vs things they want.

Roadrunner53

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19959 on: April 16, 2018, 01:14:37 PM »
rg422 Wow, just wow on that story! My mom worked in a factory and was a supervisor. No one there made a lot of money. There were a lot of the factory workers who would buy their food from the machines all day long. Coffee, hard rolls for breakfast, sandwiches and soda, chips for lunch, more junk food for afternoon break. Instead of bringing food from home to cut the cost they never considered it! They were constantly getting their electricity turned off and drove clunkers that always broke down. Why can't people SEE what they are spending stupidly?

CCCA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19960 on: April 16, 2018, 01:28:47 PM »
....... pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

Whenever I hear stories like this I end up concluding that some people must have brains wired differently from me.

I can't really judge her behavior because I can literally barely comprehend it. 

Going into debt to have a shiny piece of compressed carbon, so that you can show other people you own compressed carbon?

I really would need someone who has insight into this worldview to translate this decision for me in terms I can understand.

And Diamond is thermodynamically unstable at normal temperature and pressure ( bottom left corner)

I've always wanted to picket a mall jewlery store with the phase diagram, a you are here spot on it, and the phrase " Diamond is thermodynamically unstable!!!".

Something for FIRE, when I don't need a clean background check.


Yes I remember learning about this in chemistry class.  There is, however, a large barrier to moving from this stable but not lowest-energy state, to the most favored state so it's unlikely to happen even over long (i.e. geologic) time periods. 

Cali

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19961 on: April 16, 2018, 01:38:34 PM »
I once overheard two coworkers discussing food. Both were broke and need groceries. Coworker #1 tells #2 to get a Target debit card. Apparently it takes two days for a debit charge to hit your bank so she can buy groceries on wed and it won’t hit until payday friday.

Both coworkers were single with no kids they just really liked happy hour at Ruth’s Chris.

markbike528CBX

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19962 on: April 16, 2018, 02:13:23 PM »
....... pretty any time she gestures, she's carrying the equivalent of $7K in debt on her hand every day.

Whenever I hear stories like this I end up concluding that some people must have brains wired differently from me.

I can't really judge her behavior because I can literally barely comprehend it. 

Going into debt to have a shiny piece of compressed carbon, so that you can show other people you own compressed carbon?

I really would need someone who has insight into this worldview to translate this decision for me in terms I can understand.

And Diamond is thermodynamically unstable at normal temperature and pressure ( bottom left corner)

I've always wanted to picket a mall jewlery store with the phase diagram, a you are here spot on it, and the phrase " Diamond is thermodynamically unstable!!!".

Something for FIRE, when I don't need a clean background check.


Yes I remember learning about this in chemistry class.  There is, however, a large barrier to moving from this stable but not lowest-energy state, to the most favored state so it's unlikely to happen even over long (i.e. geologic) time periods.

You might remember it from chemistry, but how many other people do?   Usually thermodynamically unstable!!! should be sufficient to get some excitement going until those who do vaguely remember the difference between thermodynamically unstable and kinetically unstable.

JLee

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19963 on: April 16, 2018, 03:17:17 PM »
I just don’t get the truck thing. If you are going to screw your self over financially to buy a silly toy, why not at least buy a toy that is fun to drive, easy to park, handles well, doesn’t make you look like an idiot trying to compensate for a lack in personal endowments?

Mine is fun enough to drive, easy to park (camera ftw), handles great (thanks, technology!), and any judgement you make on my personal character or physical qualities make you look like an idiot, not me.

Plus, you can't take a Prius here. ;)

Then again, it cost about 7% of my current annual salary, sooo meh.

I once overheard two coworkers discussing food. Both were broke and need groceries. Coworker #1 tells #2 to get a Target debit card. Apparently it takes two days for a debit charge to hit your bank so she can buy groceries on wed and it won’t hit until payday friday.

Both coworkers were single with no kids they just really liked happy hour at Ruth’s Chris.

holy crap x.x
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 03:19:46 PM by JLee »

scottish

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19964 on: April 16, 2018, 03:40:21 PM »
Do you have a land cruiser?    Sweet.   How do you like the kds?   (You can tell where my anti-mustachian tendencies lie)

Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19965 on: April 17, 2018, 04:59:51 AM »
We have some people from Spain visiting at work. They are quite young, in their 20-ies. They told me their cafeteria at work had a lot more choice than our cafeteria. But ours was way cheaper.
I think they get paid a lot less than 1 do, as they are young and living in a LCOL country and I am 44 and living in a HCOL country. But I am eating sandwiches from home. And they eat in the cafeteria.

Cali

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19966 on: April 17, 2018, 07:11:36 AM »
My team at work is growing expoentially. Two years ago there were 10 of us, we were all friends. Now there are 50 and we are not. At some point someone decided they would decorate someone’s desk for their bday and it became a *thing*. I can’t believe how much money these people burn out of pocket for balloons and streamers. Yesterday I did the math on how much they’d spent on decorations and between the dozen large fancy balloons and and everything else not purchased at a Dollar Store it had to be close to $100. Plus a nice name brand bakery cake. Because homemade or grocery store purchased items are “cheap.” I find it all very strange.

JLee

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19967 on: April 17, 2018, 10:26:35 AM »
Do you have a land cruiser?    Sweet.   How do you like the kds?   (You can tell where my anti-mustachian tendencies lie)

I have an '05 Lexus GX470 (US-spec Landcruiser Prado). I had an 07 before that but decided to sell and buy an older/cheaper one.  KDSS is incredible...I have more suspension travel than with standard sway bars (this was my first one with stock suspension) and it handles far better than anything this size has a right to.

VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19968 on: April 17, 2018, 10:50:24 AM »
I'm at work, so I guess this qualifies for this thread. My wife just texted me and sent a picture of matching shoes she likes for herself and our 2 year old daughter(wife's BFF). $50 for her pair, $34 for the kid pair. It would be super adorable but $84, give me a break....

savedough

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19969 on: April 17, 2018, 11:11:14 AM »
so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

I love stories about marriage-related debt lasting longer than the marriage. Probably because I'm a terrible person.

The one person I've ever met with three bands on their wedding ring finger had an engagement ring and wedding band set, and then right around some milestone anniversary found a vintage ring that looks like it was made to fit with the set and got it for the milestone. But they didn't go into debt for any of it.

Guilty - I wear three rings on my ring finger.
1- Engagement ring - we spent more than I should admit on a MMM forum.  Paid in full with cash.   Cost more than honeymoon and wedding, but I really do love it and I intend to have it (and the guy it goes with) until the day I die.
2 - Matching wedding band.  $250
3- Plain band bc I work in food manufacturing and cannot wear any rings with stones and was tired of being asked if I was dating anyone.  (Young female manager in manufacturing.)  <$100  Had it for ten years now.

It actually worked out well because I have three kiddos and I think there is some cheesy symbolism.   3 rings (3 kids).  Don't pop my bubble.   

I should also point out that I inherited two engagement rings from my grandma last year when she died (widowed and remarried).   They are gorgeous but I don't know what to do with them...   Save them for the first two of my kids to get marrried?   They are a pretty classic design so they might still be in style.

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19970 on: April 17, 2018, 12:13:07 PM »
so true! i keep looking at my solo (and depressingly affordable) wedding ring and feeling morose at the sight of its obvious loneliness.

now would probably be a good time to also mention that this cw just announced that she's getting divorced! because of course. she told me that she and her soon-to-be ex-husband are going to sell their house, which they hope to make $30-40K on, and then that money will almost cover all of their credit card debt.

I love stories about marriage-related debt lasting longer than the marriage. Probably because I'm a terrible person.

The one person I've ever met with three bands on their wedding ring finger had an engagement ring and wedding band set, and then right around some milestone anniversary found a vintage ring that looks like it was made to fit with the set and got it for the milestone. But they didn't go into debt for any of it.

Guilty - I wear three rings on my ring finger.
1- Engagement ring - we spent more than I should admit on a MMM forum.  Paid in full with cash.   Cost more than honeymoon and wedding, but I really do love it and I intend to have it (and the guy it goes with) until the day I die.
2 - Matching wedding band.  $250
3- Plain band bc I work in food manufacturing and cannot wear any rings with stones and was tired of being asked if I was dating anyone.  (Young female manager in manufacturing.)  <$100  Had it for ten years now.

It actually worked out well because I have three kiddos and I think there is some cheesy symbolism.   3 rings (3 kids).  Don't pop my bubble.   

I should also point out that I inherited two engagement rings from my grandma last year when she died (widowed and remarried).   They are gorgeous but I don't know what to do with them...   Save them for the first two of my kids to get marrried?   They are a pretty classic design so they might still be in style.

i think that's fine! you have a good reason for having the third one, and you never went into debt for any of them, which is important. personally, a big appeal of the MMM lifestyle to me is that you save so you can comfortably make the few splurges that are really important to you (comfortably obviously being the key word here). your engagement ring seems to fall under that.

also, i would absolutely save the rings for them. i would have loved to have a family ring to use.

Apples

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19971 on: April 17, 2018, 12:24:55 PM »

3- Plain band bc I work in food manufacturing and cannot wear any rings with stones and was tired of being asked if I was dating anyone.  (Young female manager in manufacturing.)  <$100  Had it for ten years now.


Oh, I sooooo understand this.  I got a no-stones wedding band because I 1. wanted to be able to wear it at work (farm, but food safety rules apply 1/3 of the year) for romantic feelings reasons and 2. I wanted to ward off exactly that. Gah.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19972 on: April 17, 2018, 01:15:11 PM »
I actually have 4 bands on my left ring finger.
I have my engagement ring (thin band 3/4 carat solitaire), my wedding ring, which wraps on either side of the engagement ring, and then a birth stone ring for my stillborn son.  During the summer when it is super humid, I don't wear the wedding band and just do my engagement ring and my birth stone ring.

I don't wear any other jewelry at all.

Goldilocks

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19973 on: April 17, 2018, 02:41:37 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19974 on: April 17, 2018, 02:59:12 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19975 on: April 17, 2018, 05:05:16 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

bluebelle

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19976 on: April 17, 2018, 05:14:34 PM »
I'm at work, so I guess this qualifies for this thread. My wife just texted me and sent a picture of matching shoes she likes for herself and our 2 year old daughter(wife's BFF). $50 for her pair, $34 for the kid pair. It would be super adorable but $84, give me a break....
have toddler's shoes changed?  I can't imagine a shoe that's appropriate for your daughter that your wife would want to wear, unless they're matching runners....but WTF, won't your daughter outgrow the shoes in 3 minutes?

Although, I do remember as a kid, my Mom made the occaisional matching dress for her and I for family weddings and such....but 'made them' is the key phrase.

eazyebeneezer

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19977 on: April 17, 2018, 06:50:05 PM »
I just noticed that this is page 403, and a 403b is my ticket to freedom!!!!! That is all :-)

VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19978 on: April 17, 2018, 07:02:52 PM »
I'm at work, so I guess this qualifies for this thread. My wife just texted me and sent a picture of matching shoes she likes for herself and our 2 year old daughter(wife's BFF). $50 for her pair, $34 for the kid pair. It would be super adorable but $84, give me a break....
have toddler's shoes changed?  I can't imagine a shoe that's appropriate for your daughter that your wife would want to wear, unless they're matching runners....but WTF, won't your daughter outgrow the shoes in 3 minutes?

Although, I do remember as a kid, my Mom made the occaisional matching dress for her and I for family weddings and such....but 'made them' is the key phrase.

No, they're cute shoes. Like slip on Keds type but nicer looking. But not $84 cute

Dragonswan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19979 on: April 18, 2018, 01:51:47 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?
From your lips to God's ears.  Unless you just started working here, you know there is a possibility of a shutdown at the beginning of every fiscal year. And if they do continuing resolutions, every expiration date is a potential shut down.  PLAN FOR IT PEOPLE!  One year I thought there was a greater than usual chance of a shut down so I took vacation and went on a cruise.  That way I wasn't around for them to cancel leave and have to come in for half a day to do shutdown procedures.  Turns out they didn't shut down, much to my chagrin, but I was going to burn vacation days at some point, so that was as good a time as any.

Rowellen

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19980 on: April 18, 2018, 04:13:46 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19981 on: April 18, 2018, 06:46:18 PM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

Would a payday lender really loan money to someone who is furloughed?  And repeatedly, without being paid back for the last loan, indefinitely?

Even if so, normal payday rates don’t reflect the low risk, so it’s unlikely anyone would use them.  A real insurer would charge a much more reasonable premium

You could self insure of course, by “saving” but we are talking about people who don’t do that
« Last Edit: April 18, 2018, 06:49:22 PM by dragoncar »

Linda_Norway

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19982 on: April 19, 2018, 06:11:32 AM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

Would a payday lender really loan money to someone who is furloughed?  And repeatedly, without being paid back for the last loan, indefinitely?

Even if so, normal payday rates don’t reflect the low risk, so it’s unlikely anyone would use them.  A real insurer would charge a much more reasonable premium

You could self insure of course, by “saving” but we are talking about people who don’t do that

This is not only an issue for paycheck-to-paycheck living people. Since I am a mustachian, I have been investing a part of my paycheck into stock every month as soon as I can. Then I try to guess how much I will need for the rest of the month. If I then get an unexpected really large bill and my pay arrived later than expected, I have a problem. Last month, I expected my paycheck on the 17thm but it came on the 20th. I had lots of bills that we about to be paid automatically on the 17th and 18th. I had to ask DH to pay some of them for me. Since then I have learned that, even though my salary often arrives on the 15th or 17th, the official date is actually the 20th. It had just arrived extra early the rest of the year.

barbaz

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19983 on: April 19, 2018, 06:33:50 AM »
I have been investing a part of my paycheck into stock every month as soon as I can. Then I try to guess how much I will need for the rest of the month. If I then get an unexpected really large bill and my pay arrived later than expected, I have a problem.
Sounds way too stressful to me. How much money would you lose by keeping one month‘s expenses in your checking account?

avalanchecity

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19984 on: April 19, 2018, 08:01:27 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

Dragonswan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19985 on: April 19, 2018, 08:09:52 AM »
A company I am an independent contractor for had a problem with payments this month. Payments are to be issued at the latest by the 15th, but usually show up earlier. Yesterday (the 16th) many people still hadn’t been paid... and the entire community melted down. Hundreds of people complaining of overdraft fees, not being able to pay their mortgage, not being able to buy food/gas, demanding we go on strike or form a union. Because a payment was late by one day. One.

I have literallly been in awe watching how many people’s lives have been completely turned upside down by this. Any suggestions like having an emergency fund/credit card/not having automatic payments withdrawn the same day you think the money will be there have been shot down. They can’t afford to save money/plan ahead like this.

I mean... I’ve always known people often live paycheck to paycheck. But I have never had a front row seat to tens or even hundreds of people enter an extreme emergency situation within 24 hours.

i work for the u.s. federal government, and i see the beginnings of that meltdown every time there's a threat of a government shutdown. most of us wouldn't recieve a paycheck until the shutdown ended, at which point we've historically recieved all of our backpay. however, every single time there's even a threat of a shutdown, half my office paces the floor, panicking about how they're going to feed their families or afford their rent/mortgage if they don't get paid on time. i don't get it. i mean, i'd be upset if we weren't going to be backpaid, but we are -- and since we're furloughed, most of us are actually at home for all this time we're eventually paid for. it's literally free paid vacation. how do you not have anything set aside at all? how is this threat enough to destroy your finances?

Seems like there’s a market for “shutdown insurance” that fronts you the money but also claims any backpay you receive

I believe this already exists in the form of payday lenders.

Would a payday lender really loan money to someone who is furloughed?  And repeatedly, without being paid back for the last loan, indefinitely?

Even if so, normal payday rates don’t reflect the low risk, so it’s unlikely anyone would use them.  A real insurer would charge a much more reasonable premium

You could self insure of course, by “saving” but we are talking about people who don’t do that
In these parts, during the last real shut down some federal credit unions were extending interest free "payday" loans to folks that have their paychecks direct deposited to them.  So at the very least these folks could open an account and let the credit union be their emergency fund.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19986 on: April 19, 2018, 09:17:27 AM »
Well that’s smart!

solon

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19987 on: April 19, 2018, 10:10:14 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

Dabnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19988 on: April 19, 2018, 10:11:27 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

These are tough conversations. I've had similar situations where a coworker makes a gripe about what they're paying in taxes but the complaint they make doesn't make any sense and it's even worse if they're making decisions based on their misunderstanding. I feel obligated to say something but I try to say it in a nice way rather than "you're wrong, here's how it actually works". Then like you said, they get flustered or make a joke and change the subject. It's almost as if the idea of understanding taxes is more stressful than not understanding them.

Recent complaint: Damn Trump is taking away the mortgage deduction and costing me $3,000!

1) no 2) if that was changing it wouldn't affect this year's taxes 3) their mortgage is not large enough to amount to $3,000

And they pay someone to file their taxes who presumably should be answering questions about this stuff.

Imma

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19989 on: April 19, 2018, 10:55:06 AM »
I have been investing a part of my paycheck into stock every month as soon as I can. Then I try to guess how much I will need for the rest of the month. If I then get an unexpected really large bill and my pay arrived later than expected, I have a problem.
Sounds way too stressful to me. How much money would you lose by keeping one month‘s expenses in your checking account?


I do that too, but I do keep money in a savings account as well. By only keeping the amount of money I need in my checking account (which is this month's bills + 150 for spending) I avoid impulse buying and get slightly more interest. In case of true emergency, I can always use my credit card. I've always done it this way, I don't think I've ever had more than a couple of hundred € in my account. My boss is often on the late side with payments as well, but all our automatic payments are withdrawn from the joint account. I've set up an automatic transfer from my savings to the joint account on the same day my partner gets paid (and pays his share) and then I put the money back into my savings as soon as I get paid.


today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

These are tough conversations. I've had similar situations where a coworker makes a gripe about what they're paying in taxes but the complaint they make doesn't make any sense and it's even worse if they're making decisions based on their misunderstanding. I feel obligated to say something but I try to say it in a nice way rather than "you're wrong, here's how it actually works". Then like you said, they get flustered or make a joke and change the subject. It's almost as if the idea of understanding taxes is more stressful than not understanding them.

Recent complaint: Damn Trump is taking away the mortgage deduction and costing me $3,000!

1) no 2) if that was changing it wouldn't affect this year's taxes 3) their mortgage is not large enough to amount to $3,000

And they pay someone to file their taxes who presumably should be answering questions about this stuff.

I prepare people's taxes and I always make sure I explain to them, in detail, what I'm doing. First of all because I feel that they should understand their own tax forms because they are legally responsible, and everyone should understand as much as they can about their own financial situation, but also because when you get talking you often find out possible deductions they hadn't told you about. Many people are extremely surprised about the way I work. They are used to just sitting and playing on their phone while I'm doing the work and they sign when I'm done.

couponvan

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19990 on: April 19, 2018, 11:16:30 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 11:20:57 AM by couponvan »

Dabnasty

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19991 on: April 19, 2018, 01:27:49 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.

Good of you to give them the benefit of the doubt but it doesn't sound like they're in the 35% tax bracket.

Regardless, I think the point is that they're paying the same tax on the overtime as they are on any other additional income. It could be both though; they don't understand how taxes work and they also don't want more money badly enough to work more hours. Maybe the tax thing was just an excuse made to OP rather than saying "we don't want the money enough to work more"

Regardless, they're turning down 1.5x pay while working for 1x pay.

VaCPA

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19992 on: April 19, 2018, 02:12:29 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19993 on: April 19, 2018, 02:15:34 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

BINGO! That's exactly what I'm talking about. People think if they make more money, they'll actually bring home less. And there are so many people who think this!

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19994 on: April 19, 2018, 02:16:34 PM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.

Good of you to give them the benefit of the doubt but it doesn't sound like they're in the 35% tax bracket.

Regardless, I think the point is that they're paying the same tax on the overtime as they are on any other additional income. It could be both though; they don't understand how taxes work and they also don't want more money badly enough to work more hours. Maybe the tax thing was just an excuse made to OP rather than saying "we don't want the money enough to work more"

Regardless, they're turning down 1.5x pay while working for 1x pay.

There are some employers that have tiered fees for things like health insurance, where you pay more if your earnings exceed a specific threshold. That (not tax) could reduce someone's take-home pay in an unpleasant way if the person is just below the cutoff line.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19995 on: April 20, 2018, 09:28:07 AM »
today i was talking with a coworker - let's call him dan. we have a project coming up in a few weeks that only a few of the employees are qualified to do, but since it's on a weekend they would get overtime. i said if it were me, i'd jump at the chance to earn overtime - i'm salaried, so i don't have that option. dan, whose wife, "stella," is one of the employees who are qualified to do the overtime job, said he and his wife never went for overtime. i asked why, since i know neither of them earn very much, and dan said, "well, stella did the math after she got her paycheck the last time she worked overtime, and the government took so much from it in taxes that she ended up getting only half of what she was supposed to. so we decided never to work overtime again unless we had to." i tried to explain that that isn't how taxes work - but dan just made a joke about it going over his head and then changed the subject.

imagine leaving time and a half pay on the table because it was taxed! i don't get it.

This is unbelievably common. I think more people believe this than not. I wish there was some simple way to explain how it works.

They are valuing their time more than the $. You say they don't get paid very much, but at a certain point the government does start taking more than you imagine in taxes. 

Here's my scenario. I max my and DH's 401(k), H.S.A. We are in the dreaded AMT bump zone, and far enough away from the end of the zone that me working more wouldn't push us over.
https://www.kitces.com/blog/evaluating-exposure-to-the-alternative-minimum-tax-and-strategies-to-reduce-the-amt-bite/ This is a link that goes into the issue. It's from 2014, but you'll get the idea.

I'm not complaining that I don't make enough money - I just won't work extra because it's not worth it "to me". Here's my taxes - for every $ extra we make, the Federal government takes 35%. The state takes 3.5%. SS takes 6.2% and Medicare takes 1.45%. We are also subject to a .9% medicare recapture tax. That means 47% of any additional earnings goes straight to the government.

I'd rather have the time.  I have enough $ at this point to retire on schedule. 

Now if that same coworker was talking about how in debt they were and how they could never retire, I might have a different response.

ETA - If it was California, with 9.3% tax rates, then the woman would be correct about 1/2 going to taxes of some sort.

Good of you to give them the benefit of the doubt but it doesn't sound like they're in the 35% tax bracket.

Regardless, I think the point is that they're paying the same tax on the overtime as they are on any other additional income. It could be both though; they don't understand how taxes work and they also don't want more money badly enough to work more hours. Maybe the tax thing was just an excuse made to OP rather than saying "we don't want the money enough to work more"

Regardless, they're turning down 1.5x pay while working for 1x pay.

There are some employers that have tiered fees for things like health insurance, where you pay more if your earnings exceed a specific threshold. That (not tax) could reduce someone's take-home pay in an unpleasant way if the person is just below the cutoff line.

If they are really not making much they could also hit the limit for EIC, or free school lunches, or something like that.  However, I agree that for the vast (overwhelming) majority of people earning +$1 does not result in >$1 more tax or increased spending.  If congress suddenly switched marginal rates to net rates and dropped the percentages, I think that most people would be celebrating the lower "tax rate" and would have no idea what it meant. i.e. "Hooray, I was paying 25% and they dropped it down to 20%, that saves me 5%!!"

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19996 on: April 20, 2018, 10:14:00 AM »
Had a meeting with a manager in another department this week.  We both knew that he did not make the finalist for the open director position in his group.  During the meeting, he decided to vent and said that not being promoted was going to cost him x million (salary and pension) over time.  (I'm not in any way associated with the promotion decisions) 

After the meeting, I went back to my retirement spreadsheet and put in his age, salary and previous director’s salary.  I could get to the x million figure if he worked until he was 67…not worth it to me. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19997 on: April 20, 2018, 11:16:53 AM »
All the tax talk reminded me of this... husbands coworkers do not give great financial advice. Things like needing to carry a credit card balance, etc. We've been saving for a down payment for a house, though we're not sure we'll be buying because we've talked about moving states, and where we are now the housing market is pretty nutty. His one coworker keeps telling him we need to increase our budget because we can afford more house due to the tax breaks from having a mortgage...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19998 on: April 20, 2018, 12:30:28 PM »
One of my coworkers is very young and is slowly learning about financial stuff as it comes up. Her attitude is really good overall. There was a discussion yesterday about credit scores. I overheard a bit of the conversation she had with another guy. He was about 90% right, but I just couldn't bear to let her be mislead. So I casually inserted myself in and casually provided the right info.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #19999 on: April 20, 2018, 06:38:07 PM »
I'm a CPA so have a firm grasp on the US taxation system but it often surprises me how little some people understand it, even basic concepts. But I think I'm also taking for granted how hard to understand it can be, for people not in accounting or tax who don't have to think about it much.

I was having a conversation with my MIL several weeks ago, and discussing the prospect of her working/earning more. She's a nurse who has moved into teaching and had opportunities to teach more. She was worried it would push her into the next tax bracket and increase the amount she paid. I had to explain how the marginal tax brackets work. If you go into the next tax bracket your entire income isn't taxed at that amount, just the amount that crossed into the new tax bracket. So...don't worry about making more money...

Years ago, I had a coworker tell me she didn't want to invest in the stock market outside of retirement accounts due to increased taxes.  In my head, I said "By that logic, you should turn down all future raises."

Several years ago, DH & I worked with a lawyer to draw up a will & trust.  We were talking about the (US) estate tax kicking in at $5 million.  [We're not close to this mark - just making conversation.]  The lawyer said that if your estate was even $1 over $5 million, the *entire* estate would be taxed at whatever the estate tax rate was.  I said I thought the tax would only apply to the amount *over* $5 million but she was adamant.  I was thinking "Our taxes *never* work like that."  Also thinking "You're an estate lawyer and you don't know this?"