11.7.19 Employers offering more freedom; How to refi student loans

The FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement was a hot topic last year. People set early retirement goals and modified lifestyle dramatically to make it happen. Now we can add the ROWE (Results Only Work Environment) movement, giving people the freedom to work when and where they want. Many employers can’t handle this. But if you do task oriented work with measurable results, this can be liberating. For example, radiology is performed around the clock, so practices can hire radiologists across the globe in different time zones. An Australian radiologist can be on duty there for overnight needs here. The downside: Out of sight out of mind. Off location workers can be thought of differently and are unlikely to be promoted. But depending on the job and the employer, this can be a win-win.

A follow-up on the discovery 5 years ago that AT&T was not honoring its claim of unlimited data. It took 5 full years for AT&T to be held to account for pennies on the dollar. AT&T has reached a deal with the FTC to pay restitution to the customers they lied to – a measly $60M for the 3.5 million affected. If you’re still with AT&T, you’ll get a mysterious credit on your bill one month. If you’re no longer a customer, they’ll send you a check. It’s real. It’s your money. But they shouldn’t have lied in the first place.

So many are weighed down by student loan debt. Many questions are coming in about refinancing – a confusing area. First, know what kind of loans you have, how many and what rates you're paying on each loan. Knowing the difference between federal and private loans is key. If you refi a federal student loan into a private loan, you lose all the borrower protections built into federal loans. Rules: If you find a deal to refi private loans into a new fixed rate loan, that's probably a food idea. With federal loans, only refi if you can reduce the interest rate by 2 points or more, and have a secure, solid income. Then it may be worth it to give up the borrower protections. See the briefing at Clark.com, which includes who is best to shop for student loan refinance.
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