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   Balogreene posted on Coffee Klatch  Something I learned the other day. I'm 63, when I rollover my old 401(k ) to my new company, I can withdraw money with no penalty (except taxes ). I'm thinking of withdrawing enough to pay off my debt, and the car debt that is only partially mine. Then I will roll the rest over into the new company's 401(k ), put a little into it, and put more into a Roth 401(k ).

I get a free consultation with a financial advisor from T.Rowe Price from my old company. I will clarify with her. But, the guy I spoke to briefly the other night said it is a good idea to wipe out all debt and move forward with retirement savings.

Any thoughts?
January 31 at 00:23 EST .

   MeiDei  Scroll down to the tax chart from this site:
I think it will be helpful.
February 2 at 14:10 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene  Thanks Mei Dei. I do get a free consult from my old company, about how to do this. I would just feel better having no debt, and get taxed on that relatively low amount of money, than continue on with a couple of the debts.

What I'm really worried about, is I haven't accumulated as much in my retirement plans as I should have!
February 3 at 22:38 EST .

   Balogreene  I decided to roll-over to a retirement IRA, and also invest n my new company's Roth 401(k ). I'll have some ax able, some non-taxable, and diversity. Hope it works.
February 8 at 21:32 EST .

   Balogreene posted on Main Page The Lobby  This was taken about 1500 hours. Dulles Airport (just down the road ) recorded 24 inches of snow, and we are expecting another 8 to 12 inches. I can work from home, so, not too upset for a while.
   January 23 at 16:20 EST .

   1 person like this.

   Balogreene  Oh, that's out my front door. It's just a drift, but, look at the cars, mine on the right is half buried!
January 23 at 16:21 EST .

   FlatCityGirl  Stay safe and warm. I know you will.
January 23 at 18:38 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Fireball27  Just raining here in our part of Oregon. Snow up in the mountains though. About 48 degrees. Good luck to all of you out east!
January 23 at 19:43 EST .

   Balogreene  Started snowing Friday, Today (Wednesday ), finally paid someone to plow the cars out. A very kind neighbor shoveled out the door, so we could at least go out of the house.
January 27 at 23:47 EST .

   Balogreene posted on Coffee Klatch  Okay, while it is still fresh in what is left of my mind. I started my new job today.

Enormous amounts of paperwork. One insurance plan (for a single ) is $250/month, I didn't look at the middle one, the third one is $120/month, and has an HSA. The highest deductible (the middle plan ) is $1300, the out of pocket is $3,000. At CACI I had a $4-5,000 deductible, and out of pocket of over $6k. I'm going to roll my other HSA into the new one.

The original news was wrong, there are only 8 paid holidays, two personal days, and 20 paid time off days.

I have an office about the size of my old boss. It has a door, and a smoked glass strip of a window (I close the door, no one can see in ). Two laptops, 3 monitors. One laptop is connected to the internet, the other (by order of the government ) is not connected to the internet. It has it's own network, but that is surrounded by "free air". I log on to both machines in the morning. Then, when I want to switch to the other, I just press a button, don't have to log off until I go home. The middle monitor is connected to both computers, but, the left works on the no internet machine, the right on the internet machine.

They are going to get me both Illustrator and Visio. Maybe Solidworks (a CAD program ).

My office is right by the kitchen. The Nespresso, Keurig (coffee and tea ), juice, water, and soda are free, as is the plastic ware. They have all different kinds of hot sauce, tabasco, honey, sugar, fake sugar, whatever. I didn't find the plates and napkins, but that's okay, I've gotten used to supplying my own.

I got my parking pass today, the lot about 1 block from work doesn't open to the public until 10:30, so, I use the pass to go in, and there is a ton of parking.

There is a Mexican, a Big Bowl, a couple of American places, a burger joint restaurants all within the block. And more. It is in the Center with Clyde's (a great area restaurant ), Morton's, McCormick and Schmick (seafood ), Starbucks, Sushi, Japanese, Italian, and more restaurants, all within walking distance. On one side of my building is a Teavana, and on the other is a Wine Bar! A movie theater is about two blocks away, the ice-skating rink is next to Clyde's.

My building has elevators (so do the parking garages ).

SHOCK ALERT!!! Everyone I talked to today gets in between 0800 and 0900. My boss, Christine, lives near me and says it is really easy to get in before 0800. She drops her daughter at school and gets in between 0730 and 0800. I'm going to try and do that 0800 start time!

And, because it is supposed to maybe possibly snow a huge amount on Friday, I have a laptop to bring
January 19 at 20:54 EST .

   2 people like this.

   Balogreene  I'm loving this job. It will make a good retirement scenario.
January 30 at 00:19 EST .

   Balogreene posted on Pet Peeves  My 85.5 year old mother went to the doctor yesterday. The Doctor had to let her know of a new government protocol. Because she takes Vicodin for severe arthritis (she is eligible for, but refuses to go onto Oxycodin ), she must submit to frequent urine tests to prove she is actually taking the vicodin, and not selling it on the black market!
January 16 at 18:48 EST .

   3 people like this.

   MeiDei  Wait, it gets better - something new from the pharmacy, a special quarterly report showing whether you've been renewing each of your prescriptions on time via a bar graph - with lapses noted. I don't know if it's sent to the feds also. I wish I could get more than 30 days on two of my prescriptions, especially after the winter we had last year - but have been turned down.
January 19 at 23:47 EST .

   Balogreene  Mom can get Vicodin for 90 days, but my sister usually goes to pick it up, and has to sign away her first born son! But, yes, since mom has Kaiser, the Dr. and the pharmacy both track that she uses it. They won't mail it, has to be picked up. Sometimes the prescription renews part way through her visit to my sister in Tulsa! It's horrible trying to get that one to her.
January 20 at 22:24 EST .

   Balogreene posted on Coffee Klatch  My company does "on boarding" and "off boarding". Someone in my office calls it "out boarding", so I call it "motor boating". That will happen 15 Dec, in the morning. I will then be done. I've deleted all references to them off my home computer. They will delete all reference to me Friday morning.

I will start Tuesday, 19 January, due to Monday being MLK's birthday holiday. I've never had it off before! Kind of strange to have all Federal holidays off (never in all my years of work ). I will do a test run Monday, cause I got lost on the way to the interview.

I will let you all know the end of next week. I need a day or two to start to think about settling in.
January 14 at 23:18 EST .

   BirdsNest  Best of luck with this new job. You've got this.
January 15 at 05:49 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene  it's done. I'm officially unemployed til Tuesday.
January 15 at 20:48 EST .

   MeiDei  Good luck. You mentioned building your department from the bottom up, have you asked any of those you worked with, & presumably also out of work, to join you?
January 16 at 08:35 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene  There are 9 engineers also out of work. One seems to be enjoying unemployment at the time, two say they don't fit the needs, but one of them is brilliant and will be an asset to any company, he has asked me to float his resume. One other applied, but seemed to mess up by asking for too much money (he makes a lot now, he's also heard from another company, piece of cake work, but less money. Nothing he can't live on ). The other 5 were encouraging each other to apply, so, I hope they do. They wouldn't be in my "department" as I'm the only writer at this point in time, but, we would be working together. I hope some of them go for it and get jobs.
January 16 at 18:31 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene  It is strange how many companies think they don't need writers (my ex-company included ). They seem to think the engineers can produce all documents and graphics because "everyone knows Word and PowerPoint". This produces poor manuals for the service people to work from, but, a Writer/Illustrator is an added expense when they are trying to make money on the contract.

The Government has gone to lowest price-technically acceptable as the bottom line for all contracts. They look at the lowest priced proposal, ask their contracts people (not the technical people needing the work ) if that is acceptable. If it is, that company gets the job. If it works out they are not technically acceptable, or cannot do the Manuals, drawings, etc. needed, the Government has to put out a new contract for the new needs.

It really is not cost effective, but, it is what Congress has mandated.
January 16 at 18:36 EST .

 1 person like this.

   StormCnter  Balo, my son-in-law's sister does work that sounds very similar to what you do. It's a rewarding occupation and more in-demand than some would think. She now does a lot of consulting work, too.
January 17 at 09:56 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene posted on Main Page The Lobby  A couple of posts down, someone says something about a horrible year. It kind of was, I had a triple bypass, my sister had and abdominal Aneurysm replaced.

We lost the contract I've been working on for 10 years. I had a couple of more jobs available but the Project Managers think anyone can do Word or Powerpoint, and engineers write every bit as good as "writers".

I looked for someone who would appreciate me. They did, they realized it was much better to pay a writer/illustrator than engineers. They offered me a $30,000/year raise, more holidays, more vacation, and appreciation! Plus they are closer to home!

A good story for the New Year!
January 2 at 23:13 EST .

   1 person like this.

   Linder  Congrats! Happy for you.
January 3 at 10:54 EST .

   Fireball27  Great news Balo, showed them a thing or two! I wonder how many others will try to do the same. Some companies just don't get it. They can't seem to believe the people who actually do the work might know what needs to be done.
January 3 at 15:00 EST .

   Balogreene posted on Coffee Klatch  So, i got my notice from work, the job ended 4 Dec. Then they told me there were two more manuals to write by the end of July. Getting funded seemed hard. Yesterday (29 Dec ) I went on an interview. I personally hate change, but decided to go ahead with it. After a 4-hoour interview, they offered me the job. It is $13,000 more than I am making now, plus a more than $5,000 bonus, and $13,000 put into my retirement account. I have three weeks vacation, they offer four. I have 6 holidays and 4 personal days They offer 10 holidays, and 2 personal days. I accepted the offer.

And on top of that, it is building my own department from the ground up. I also learned today, the current company was lying, they didn't have work for the whole month. So Glad God and Linked In led me n this direction.
December 30 at 22:27 EST .

   5 people like this.

   Escaped commieny  That is fantastic, prayers are answered but usually not that fast,
this is awesome. You will be such a great team leader (boss ).
I read but don't usually log in, HAD to for this, WOW.
December 31 at 08:23 EST .

  2 people like this.

   FlatCityGirl  Standing Ovation, Bolo. Congratulations!
December 31 at 13:22 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Iacta alea est  Congrats Balo!
January 1 at 00:35 EST .

 1 person like this.

   BirdsNest  I am so thrilled for you, finally somewhere you can be appreciated. Good for you that you didn't just give up and wait for things to end. Good job. May this job be good for you monetarily and personally.
January 1 at 10:47 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene  We will get a new air conditioner this summer, two years without it is two years too many!
January 2 at 23:15 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene  I do have to say,I told them I was the only one they interviewed with ALL the qualifications, cause I was the oldest. Experience means time on the job. Give all the 30-somethings 10-20 years, they'll have the same experience (or most of it ).

One thing about jobs today, you are a specialist. I am supposedly a Technical Writer, but, I also do all the illustrations. Most writers are English majors, who write (and are technical enough to understand all the engineering and mechanics ). They cannot also do the illustrations (some can ).

I have never met an illustrator who can write (except me ). I bore easily, so I learned both. Also today, I talked to "Chief", a Chief Warrant Officer for this project, he agreed, most don't know both, but all should.
January 14 at 23:13 EST .

  2 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Balo, you're making my heart smile.
January 15 at 05:50 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  Okay, I made it, but it took so long, I didn't eat it. Why did it take so long? I marinated the fish, a little later boiled the potatoes and roasted the peppers (didn't work all that well ). Then I cooked the garlic, tomatoes, and peppers, and put them aside. Then I added the potatoes, a layer of tomatoes, a layer of fish, a layer of tomatoes, and the olives, and steamed in the tagging for half an hour. I started at 4:30, by 8:00 it was just finishing!

It smells great, and will make a great few meals this week!

   December 27 at 20:42 EST .

   7 people like this.

   Balogreene  Kel brought me a Big Mac cause it was getting so late. I'll let you know later how it tastes after marinating overnight.
December 27 at 21:55 EST .

  5 people like this.

   BirdsNest  My hat's off to you for tackling so many difficult recipes, recipes with lots of steps before the finished product can be enjoyed. Me? I am lucky to be patient enough for something to heat in the microwave for 4 minutes. I haven't spent much time home these last 3 weeks, Hagar has needed me to be with him.
January 1 at 10:57 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest  So how was it????
January 15 at 06:11 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Balogreene  Bird, it was great!
January 16 at 18:49 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene posted on Recipes  I am making a tagine of fish (I used Cod ), green peppers, new potatoes (I used baby red ) and black olives. The marinade calls for a Chermoula paste, I bought the spice on Amazon, and then pureed them with parsley, cilantro, and garlic. If anyone wants the recipe I will post it, but it is picante (I think, I'm not done yet ).

Anyhow, it calls for roasted green peppers. I told my sister I might just use them fresh, roasting can be a pain. Then, I looked it up on Al Gore's Amazing Internet, and found a new method. Preheat the oven to 400 put the peppers in, roast on one side 20-minutes, turn a half turn, roast another 20 minutes. Take them out and put a bowl over them for 15 minutes, then peel, seed and slice. I am trying it! Just getting ready to make the turn.
December 27 at 17:38 EST .

   6 people like this.

   BirdsNest  Cod is my favorite fish but only if I know it is very fresh. I like codfish cakes made from dried codfish but only if someone else makes them. I have not had a good experience doing it myself.
January 1 at 10:58 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Balogreene  Bird, I try to by the "fresh frozen". Cod is not my first choice, cause it's harder to tell how fresh it is. But, our grocery stores don't have the freshest fish.
January 16 at 18:51 EST .

 1 person like this.

   Balogreene posted on Blessings  An update: I am working month-to-month, depending on military funding. So, I am still applying. Pray for this. I had a phone interview, and within a couple of hours, they called back, they want an in-person interview. It's a really cool project, just exactly what I've done in the past, and will last 2-3 years. I'm 63, I hope they don't hold that against me, not only can I do the job, I've done it before.

I never held a job for more than 18 months. I've been with this company 13 years, part of me doesn't want to leave. Much of me doesn't want to leave the people I am currently working with in the lurch. But, it is MY life, MY future. I can't go on like this. I need to move on.
December 18 at 19:31 EST .

   8 people like this.

   HopeandGlory  Good Luck Balo . . . May God guide you in making the right decisions for you, at this particular time in your life.
December 18 at 20:35 EST .

  3 people like this.

   Surfhut  My prayer is that our Lord bring you to the right job, and bring the right job to you. Amen, Sister! FWIW, my son just lost a promotion. The promotion went to a woman with no degree. She got it because she was far older (more experience ). In my company, the down-side to hiring mature people is that health insurance is so much higher. The up-side is that we old people are better employees. We go for the maturity!
December 24 at 09:54 EST .

  2 people like this.

   Balogreene  Surf. I agree, it sucks to be older. And I have heart issues. We'll see what they do, what they want, and how my current company reacts. I'm nervous, is that okay?
December 24 at 23:11 EST .

 1 person like this.

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