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Sonder | Taking Stay Further.
What is a Sonder? - a new way to stay in your favorite neighborhoods around the world.

It’s an answer to a lot of questions we’ve been asking. Like what would happen if we had a space to stay in neighborhoods we wanted to live in all around the world? What if those spaces included a dining area, and a living space and perhaps an extra bedroom or two for the kids? What if the design was modern and exciting, and the only thing cookie-cutter was…nothing? A place like that would help create a travel experience built to take guests further. To bring them home better. And that’s a place we’d like to stay. And a philosophy we’ve built our company around.
travel  luxury  Homes  US  UK  ITL  eCommerce  ShortTerm-Rental  Accommodations  Flats  Management  eBooking  UIX  Rental  Villas  WebPortal  O2G  Platform  Apartment 
yesterday by abetancort
The Woman Who Refused to Leave a Whites-Only Streetcar | JSTOR Daily
Her case was soon brought to court, taken on by a 24-year-old Chester A. Arthur, the future twenty-first president. “What may have started as one woman’s individual protest had really become a class action,” writes Hewitt. In February of 1855, she was awarded $255 in damages. Furthermore, the Brooklyn Circuit Court ruled that African Americans could not be excluded from transit provided they were “sober, well behaved, and free from disease.”
history  racism  us 
yesterday by atbradley
401(k) Mistakes to Avoid | 401ks | US News
401(k) Mistakes to Avoid
Those who understand the 401(k) rules can take care to minimize penalties and fees.
Fees and penalties for your 401(k) can often be avoided if you understand how your 401(k) plan works. You can also take advantage of employer contributions and tax breaks once you figure out how to qualify. Here's how to fix several common 401(k) problems.
A low default savings rate. Many employees are automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan, typically at the default savings rate of 3 percent. But sticking with this low savings rate could be a mistake. "That 3 percent is not enough," says Shannon Nutter-Wiersbitzky, head of participant strategy and development at Vanguard. "If a younger person could start at the 12 percent rate, they are certainly going to benefit tremendously from the benefit of compounding over time." If you can't save that much at the beginning of your career, aim to increase contributions each year. "It's typical that you would start at potentially a lower percentage and then increase that over time," Nutter-Wiersbitzky says. "If you generally get your raise at the end of the year, set your 401(k) to automatically increase. You won't feel it as much in terms of what is being saved for you out of your pay."
[See: How to Max Out Your 401(k) in 2018.]
Missing out on the 401(k) match. Find out if your employer provides a 401(k) match, and make sure you save enough to qualify for the maximum possible match. One common 401(k) match formula is 50 cents per dollar saved up to 6 percent of pay. In this case you would need to save at least 6 percent of your salary in order to claim the full match. "A 401(k) match anywhere from 4 to 6 percent of pay is typical," says Gregg Levinson, a senior retirement consultant for Willis Towers Watson. "It might require 8 percent deferral [of your pay] to get the full 4 percent [match]."
Failing to maximize tax breaks. Workers defer paying income tax on the money they contribute to a traditional 401(k) plan. Participants can delay paying taxes on up to $18,500 in 2018. Those age 50 and older can make catch-up contributions of up to an additional $6,000. A 55-year-old in the 24 percent tax bracket could reduce his income tax bill by $5,880 if he maxes out his 401(k) plan. "There is a big tax advantage if you contribute to the max allowed," says Lavina Nagar, a certified financial planner and president of Maya Advisors in Palo Alto, California. "If you can stretch yourself and save the full $18,500, that is the ideal situation." Income tax won't be due on the money in your traditional 401(k) plan until it is distributed from the account.
Automatically accepting the default investment. Workers who are automatically enrolled in a 401(k) plan are invested in a default fund selected by the plan sponsor. The most common default investment is a target-date fund, which typically contains a mix of stocks, bonds and cash that grows more conservative over time. However, the fees, underlying investments and rate at which the fund grows more conservative won't be an ideal fit for all employees. Take a look at the other investment options in your 401(k) plan before sticking with a target-date fund.
Paying excessive 401(k) fees. While some 401(k) plans negotiate for low costs on behalf of their employees, others are riddled with expensive funds and excessive fees. However, you can move your money to lower cost funds within your 401(k) plan. Your 401(k) plan is required to send each participant an annual 401(k) fee disclosure statement that lists how much each fund in the 401(k) plan costs to own in a single chart. "There are disclosures that have to come with those investments that detail the fees," says John Scott, director of the The Pew Charitable Trust's retirement savings project. "You should be able to get that information from your human resources person or the plan service provider or the mutual fund provider." Check this document each year to see if there are lower cost funds in the 401(k) plan that will meet your investment needs.
[See: 9 Ways to Avoid 401(k) Fees and Penalties.]
Leaving the company before you are vested. You don't get to keep employer contributions to your 401(k) until you are vested in the account. Some 401(k) plans immediately vest company deposits, while others require several years of job tenure before you can keep any of the 401(k) match. There are also graduated vesting schedules that permit employees to keep a portion of the 401(k) match based on their years of service at the company, and some employers require five or six years on the job before employees qualify for the entire 401(k) match. "Vesting can be immediate or vesting can stretch over a period of time," Nagar says. "If you move you might leave something on the table, and that should be part of your negotiation for the new job."
Triggering the 401(k) early withdrawal penalty. Cashing out your 401(k) plan before age 59 1/2 (or in some cases age 55) will trigger a 10 percent early withdrawal penalty in addition to the income tax you will owe on the distribution. A $5,000 withdrawal at age 50 will result in a $500 early withdrawal penalty and another $1,200 in income tax for someone in the 24 percent tax bracket.
Initiating a 401(k) loan. If you need access to your savings before retirement, account owners are often allowed to take a 401(k) loan of as much as 50 percent of the vested account balance up to $50,000. The loan typically must be paid back with interest within five years. However, 401(k) loans charge a variety of fees and you miss out on the investment gains you could have earned in the account. "It should be a last resort because the interest isn't deductible and you're tapping into a retirement asset," says David Clarken, a certified financial planner for FWI Wealth Management in Atlanta, Georgia. If you leave your job, the loan balance must be paid back by the due date of your federal income tax return. Loans that aren't repaid on time are considered distributions, and taxes and penalties may apply.
Forgetting to take 401(k) distributions in retirement. 401(k) withdrawals are required after age 70 1/2. The penalty for missing a required distribution is 50 percent of the amount that should have been withdrawn. But you don't need to wait until age 70 to take retirement account distributions. Some retirees start withdrawals during their 60s, which allows you to space out the tax bill and in some cases pay a lower tax rate.
[See: How to Pay Less Taxes on Retirement Account Withdrawals.]
Ignoring old 401(k) plans. When you change jobs you can generally leave your retirement account balance in the 401(k) plan. You might want to maintain a 401(k) plan with a former employer if the plan has especially good investment options, low costs or contains company stock. However, if you have multiple 401(k) plans at several former employers you can simplify your financial life by consolidating accounts. Some workers open an IRA and roll their 401(k) balance into it each time they change jobs. Moving your money to an IRA maintains the tax benefits, while also giving you a wider range of investment options.
10 Tips for Rolling Over a 401(k) When You Change Jobs
1 of 12
(Getty Images)
Rollover options
Each time you change jobs you need to decide what to do with the money in your 401(k) plan. While you can typically leave the money in a former employer’s 401(k) plan, there’s also an opportunity to transfer your retirement savings to an individual retirement account or a new 401(k) plan. Here’s how to roll over your retirement savings when you leave a job.
Updated on May 16, 2018: This slideshow was originally published on Oct. 23, 2017, and has been updated with new information.
Maintain the tax benefits.
(Getty Images)
Maintain the tax benefits.
You can maintain the tax benefits of your 401(k) plan by rolling the account balance over to an IRA or transferring your savings to a new employer’s 401(k) if the plan allows it. However, there’s no need to make a quick decision. In most cases you can leave the money in a former employer’s 401(k) plan. Take some time to find another tax-deferred account that has the investment options you want at the best possible price.
Transfer your money directly.
(Getty Images)
Transfer your money directly.
If you decide to move your money, you can avoid taxes and penalties by having the account balance directly transferred to a new retirement account via a trustee-to-trustee transfer. If a check is made out to you, 20 percent will be withheld for income tax. If you don’t put the entire distribution, including the withheld 20 percent, in a new retirement account within 60 days you will owe income tax on that money. A 10 percent early withdrawal penalty could also apply if you are under age 55. A trustee-to-trustee transfer allows you to avoid the tax withholding and potential fees.
Find better investment options.
(Getty Images)
Find better investment options.
401(k) plans have a limited menu of funds, typically chosen by an employer, plan sponsor or consultant. While some 401(k) plans provide excellent investment options for participants, other 401(k) plans are riddled with overpriced funds and unnecessary fees. IRAs have a much wider selection of investment options. Take some time to shop around for the investments that make the most sense for your retirement portfolio. A job change can be an opportunity to move your money into better funds with lower fees.
Keep costs low.
(Getty Images)
Keep costs low.
Retirement accounts charge a variety of administrative and maintenance fees and each individual fund charges an expense ratio or fee to maintain the fund and perhaps other costs. However, it is increasingly possible to find retirement accounts and funds that charge very low fees. It’s especially important to choose low-cost funds for your retirement savings because you are investing over a long period of time and might pay those fees for several decades. Paying lower fees means you get to keep more of your investment returns.
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yesterday by neerajsinghvns
20 Awesome Dividend Stocks for Guaranteed Income | Investing | US News
20 Awesome Dividend Stocks for Guaranteed Income
The best of the best dividend stocks pay investors like clockwork every quarter. What's not to like?
The best thing about holding stocks, of course, is the fact that you're gaining wealth and building a nest egg that you'll need to retire someday. But what if you could get paid to hold those stocks? That's the beauty of dividend stocks, which offer a payout (usually quarterly) to shareholders. And the best dividend stocks are known as dividend aristocrats, which are companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index that have increased their payouts for 25 consecutive years. Companies carry the dividend aristocrat label as a badge of honor, so these companies will fight to continue to increase these yields. All an investor has to do is collect their cash. And smile.
Thank you,
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20  Awesome  Dividend  Stocks  for  Guaranteed  Income  |  Investing  US  News  Interesting  Reading  InterestingReading  needsEditing 
yesterday by neerajsinghvns
Why solar is likely to power the home of the future • The Verge
Angela Chen on US trends, noting that 2m out of 90m US homes have solar panels - but California recently made it a requirement that new homes have solar panels:
<p>If solar becomes ubiquitous, we’ll likely see it being integrated with smart energy management systems in the home, predicts Bywater. These will regulate the battery, the home by using different sensors, and the solar panels. “The real trick is for the system to know how to make someone comfortable and how to be aggressive on conserving energy,” he says. It should know the optimal temperature of the home and how to change it based on utility rates and the time of day to save money.

Ultimately, says Baca, “we’re personally looking forward to a day when solar is as ubiquitous as AC.” Very few places had air conditioners when the technology first became available, and now it’s rare to find a builder who would create a new home without it. “People think something’s missing when it’s not there,” he says. “I think that’s where we’re going with solar, and I hope we see it sooner rather than later.”</p>


Given the preponderance of air conditioning (AC) systems in the US and its creaking electrical grid, you'd think the power companies would be encouraging local generation like crazy.
us  solar 
yesterday by charlesarthur

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