Search found 492 matches

Return to advanced search

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

Since there are several doctors reading and writing in this thread, I would like to ask: would it be better to eliminate insurance entirely? I have said for years that we need to return to paying our providers directly for service. The only reason many of us have health insurance at all is that hea...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 113
Views: 4329

Re: Car Accident Responsibility for Borrowed Cars

I Googled the answer for you. Here's what Esurance says: Car insurance follows the car If you're thinking of letting someone drive your car for a few hours, days, or weeks, keep in mind that you're not only lending your car, you're also lending your car insurance. In most states, comprehensive and c...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Car Accident Responsibility for Borrowed Cars
Replies: 13
Views: 789

Re: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?

Perhaps this is a naive question but lawyers have gotten many dings in this thread so I'll ask it anyway: As a condition to holding a law license in my state, lawyers must submit to oversight by the State Bar when a client disputes a bill. A client can complain to the State Bar about a lawyer's fee ...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 22, 2014 10:52 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: how to prevent medical expense catastrophe?
Replies: 113
Views: 4329

Re: How to pay for Home Addition

You described your house as a "bungalow." Is it historic, and is it in a designated historic district? If not historic, then you can ignore everything that follows. If historic, contact the local body that regulates historic districts before seeing an architect or a contractor. Sometimes t...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 22, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: How to pay for Home Addition
Replies: 17
Views: 1176

Re: Home Security System

We had ADT install our home security system 3 years ago. The monthly monitoring fee has remained the same for those 3 years. However, now they want to increase the monthly fee. While I can probably haggle them back to the original fee, this might be a good time to shop around. Can you use a differe...
by Rupert
Sun Sep 21, 2014 7:58 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: ADT Home Security System
Replies: 9
Views: 899

Re: Identity theft protection

Just a note to clarify the previous comment: Freezing your credit prevents new accounts opened in your name from affecting your credit. It does not prevent new accounts from being opened in your name. Someone could still steal your identity and open a new account using your information. Somewhat sur...
by Rupert
Sun Sep 21, 2014 8:19 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Identity theft protection
Replies: 9
Views: 619

Re: We have a grocery problem...

It's hard for two people who work and have long commutes to prepare home-cooked meals. I wouldn't stress about it unless it is causing you actual financial problems. That being said, you could save a lot of money by just brown-bagging lunch and cutting out the fast food. You'd also be healthier. Alt...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 19, 2014 12:32 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: We have a grocery problem... [Household budget]
Replies: 131
Views: 7952

Re: House broken into--please help

As a PP said, burglars are, generally speaking, not the most sophisticated of criminals. They're looking for stuff they can quickly convert to cash. They probably won't know what to do with the Passport, but there's a rather lucrative market for stolen identity documents in the undocumented alien po...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 19, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: House broken into--please help
Replies: 16
Views: 2277

Re: Do you plan trips on your own or use a TA?

There are still travel agents?
by Rupert
Wed Sep 17, 2014 1:14 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Do you plan trips on your own or use a [travel agent]?
Replies: 36
Views: 1513

Re: New Laptop, need help

Andyrunner: Not sure if you've pulled the trigger on that new laptop yet. I've read that Microsoft has scheduled a press conference on Sept 30, and it is widely expected that they will make some sort of announcement about the next iteration of Windows, Windows 9, on that date. Rumor has it that Wind...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 16, 2014 10:07 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2163

Re: Good hobby for a bright/obsessive 9 year old?

Most of his hobbies appear to be solo pursuits, and most of the recommendations for new hobbies that I've read so far are also, at least largely, solo pursuits (chess, even tennis). I love introverts, especially nerdy ones, so don't take this the wrong way. But does he play with other kids? It's def...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:30 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Good hobby for a bright/obsessive 9 year old?
Replies: 73
Views: 3029

Re: Should I get an Estate Planner?

Given the probable size of your estate, you should see an estate planning attorney. You need estate tax planning, not just estate planning.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:06 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Should I get an Estate Planner?
Replies: 9
Views: 773

Re: New Laptop, need help

I've been shopping for laptops lately too and haven't found any deals better than the ones offered by Dell at its website. I think Dell is still fine, although I generally choose them because we use Dells at work and my IT guy has boxes of spare parts (power cords, batteries, etc.) that I'm able to ...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:20 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Laptop, need help
Replies: 33
Views: 2163

Re: how to use I-Bonds as an Emergency Fund?

I only consider the value of my redeemable (i.e., older than one year) I Bonds as part of my emergency fund.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:12 am
 
Forum: Investing - Help with Personal Investments
Topic: how to use I-Bonds as an Emergency Fund?
Replies: 9
Views: 1195

Re: Car Advice: When to Replace?

I have found that having a roof rack solves many of life's problems. Always have one car with a roof rack.
by Rupert
Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Car Advice: When to Replace?
Replies: 37
Views: 2773

Re: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?

I would echo poster "Alan S" comments above. Get it done right the first time, by a local company you (and your neighbors) trust, which actually honors their warranty, and will come out on a Sunday evening at 8 p.m. in a downpour, which (of course) is when stuff leaks. We just finished ou...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 12, 2014 2:46 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: New Roof Needed Soon... Advice?
Replies: 48
Views: 2979

Re: What type of assets can a lawyer see that you have?

What's to prevent someone from filing a bogus lawsuit simply for the purpose of discovering someone's assets as a prelude to identity theft? The substantial filing fees that most courts charge today. In federal court, for example, it costs about $400 to file a civil suit. Not to mention the fact th...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:38 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: What type of assets can a lawyer see that you have?
Replies: 32
Views: 4031

Re: Neighborhood kid around 13 throwing rocks at my house

Criminal defense lawyer here: Please don't call the police. A charge, even a misdemeanor one like trespassing or criminal mischief, can have lifetime consequences for a kid who is probably just bored. Approach him directly and firmly and say, "Hey kid, I know you're throwing rocks at my house. ...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:22 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Neighborhood kid around 13 throwing rocks at my house
Replies: 55
Views: 3108

Re: Anyone have a house with a pool?

I pay about $400/year for membership for my entire family in a local swim club. It's a five-minute drive, and we can use the Olympic-sized pool as much as we want between Memorial Day and Labor Day. As a bonus, my kids get to compete on the club swim team if they want to. I never have to clean the p...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:34 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Anyone have a house with a pool?
Replies: 32
Views: 2384

Re: Advice for a Vanguard 401(k) plan?

You can offer model portfolios, based on age/expected retirement date and risk tolerance. Or you can hire an hourly-fee advisor to come in periodically to educate the employees about the funds in the plan and make recommendations to them. Or you can just tell them that the employer is not an investm...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 11, 2014 9:25 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Advice for a Vanguard 401(k) plan?
Replies: 5
Views: 381

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

Just to give you an idea of the insurance costs: I live in a mid-size city about 40 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico. I know people in my town who live in average homes ($200,000-300,000 in value) and who paid upwards of $4000-5000 a year just for wind coverage following hurricanes Ivan and Katrina...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:57 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2064

Re: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings

You should max retirement accounts before even considering saving for a second home. And let me warn you about beach houses on the Florida Gulf Coast, which is very near where I live: The insurance will kill you, not just financially but also emotionally as you have to scramble to find insurance and...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:24 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Prioritizing: Dream Home vs. Retirement Savings
Replies: 33
Views: 2064

Re: Tennis Role Reversal

Am an avid 64 yr old tennis player who plays all ages---pretty competitively. Don't make the mistake that age is the end all and be all. My first tournament I was in my mid 20s and I was to play an "old" 40 yr old...he best me 6-0, 6-0. Play and enjoy yourself, you might be surprised ho w...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:42 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tennis Role Reversal
Replies: 13
Views: 1293

Re: Life insurance with a smoking spouse

Yikes, smoking is expensive. Does he have access to a group policy through his employer or union or some other professional affiliation that might be cheaper? I'd look into that. As for the policy on you, perhaps consider a smaller policy, perhaps a $500,000 policy, since you're not the family bread...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:56 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Life insurance with a smoking spouse
Replies: 38
Views: 1284

Re: Atlanta - recommendations on where to live

Decatur would be my first recommendation. The homes are older, but many of them have been gutted and updated in recent years. The neighborhood around Agnes Scott College is great.
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:10 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Atlanta - recommendations on where to live
Replies: 24
Views: 1299

Re: Tennis Role Reversal

My experience playing teenagers is this: They like to hit the ball hard and flat, and they play a baseline game. My strategy when playing them is to not play their game. I try to draw them into the net and then hit lobs over their heads. I also try to take pace off my shots, even my serves. They see...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:43 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Tennis Role Reversal
Replies: 13
Views: 1293

Re: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?

The employer also knows your rate of 401k contributions and how much your balance is in your 401k, so they know about some of your cushion... ? I question whether they know the balance. I would like to think there is a firewall between custodian and employer. Can someone confirm? They know the bala...
by Rupert
Mon Sep 08, 2014 9:30 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Employer finding out you have a financial cushion?
Replies: 62
Views: 6128

Re: Issues with home inspector?

I know the contract I signed for my home inspection gives me virtually no recourse. I think I could win up to $300 in arbitration. Housing is an undiversified risk. Sometimes you get unlucky. You can probably get a token sum back from the home inspection company with an informal complaint, but you ...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 2:22 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1081

Re: Issues with home inspector?

Sorry to hear about your issues. Sounded like you needed a "Holmes" inspection. I found Mike Holmes Canadian TV show about sub-par homes inspections and the unfortunate results extremely informative on the process. Just curious, instead of paying $500 for a standard home inspection, has a...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 1:24 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1081

Re: Issues with home inspector?

What sort of paperwork did you sign when you contracted with the home inspector? Read it carefully because their liability is often limited to the price you paid for the home inspection. You might get your $500 back.
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 11:56 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Issues with home inspector?
Replies: 24
Views: 1081

Re: Lawnmower/gas issues

I've had the same problem with my mower and weed eater. My repair guy also says it's the ethanol in the gas gunking up the engines. He recommended buying non-ethanol gas from a station that caters mostly to recreational boaters. There are lots of recreational boaters where I live; so that's easy eno...
by Rupert
Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:27 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Lawnmower/gas issues
Replies: 48
Views: 2032

Re: Do my in-laws need a will?

rooms222 has given you a good link. She will not -- I repeat, will NOT -- inherit everything if her husband dies without a will. Some portion of the estate will go to her and some portion to her children. Accounts and property owned jointly or with designated beneficiaries will not go into the estat...
by Rupert
Thu Sep 04, 2014 3:50 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Do my in-laws need a will?
Replies: 26
Views: 1849

Re: Cord Blood Banking

Before my kids were born, I read the following post at NY Times and decided against it: http://parenting.blogs.nytimes.com/2009 ... lk-yester/
by Rupert
Wed Sep 03, 2014 2:55 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Cord Blood Banking
Replies: 17
Views: 1222

Re: Kitchen "Backsplash" question

You should consider that it's just going to happen again after you do all that work to correct it. So you should tile the area. I've even seen people mount plexiglass on the wall behind the stove. I suppose that would be the cheapest option.
by Rupert
Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:07 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Kitchen "Backsplash" question
Replies: 14
Views: 1935

Re: Is a college degree really worth what it costs?

The Upshot, over at the NY Times, published this piece this afternoon that is very relevant to this discussion: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/03/upshot/the-economic-price-of-colleges-failures.html?rref=upshot&abt=0002&abg=1 Here are the final two paragraphs of the article: "On average,...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 02, 2014 5:17 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Is a college degree really worth what it costs?
Replies: 33
Views: 1823

Re: Did you reveal to your kids...your savings and salary

I long for the good old days when it was taboo to tell anyone your salary and your political leanings. If your kid is asking about your salary, he probably just wants some reassurance that you're doing okay financially, i.e., that he has nothing to worry about. I would give him the reassurance he ne...
by Rupert
Tue Sep 02, 2014 2:44 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Did you reveal to your kids...your savings and salary
Replies: 75
Views: 6860

Re: Timing of flexible spending account for dependent care

Because unexpected stuff happens, especially when small children are involved, I'd just take the deduction for 2015 and do the Dependent Care Account for 2016.
by Rupert
Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:59 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Timing of flexible spending account for dependent care
Replies: 3
Views: 203

Re: How Much For New Windows?

We went to Lowes and priced large Pella replacement windows for the front of the house. We wanted the best and thought about getting their "blinds inside the windows" Pella casement windows. The window in the living room would be a bow consisting of 4 separate windows. The upstairs would ...
by Rupert
Thu Aug 28, 2014 11:05 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How Much For New Windows?
Replies: 32
Views: 1865

Re: How to safely sell a big ticket item online

If only a few thousand dollars or less, I'd insist on cash. If more (because some people, including me, are uncomfortable carrying around or transporting large amounts of cash for any length of time), I'd agree to meet them at a branch of their bank and conduct the transaction there. I'd walk to the...
by Rupert
Wed Aug 27, 2014 1:25 pm
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: How to safely sell a big ticket item online
Replies: 42
Views: 2541

Re: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance

State Farm is paying either way -- either on the other driver's liability policy or on your collision policy. So they should have already told you to get your car repaired. Have they? Just about everything else -- whether the other driver gets a ticket, shows up for court, or ever talks to State Fa...
by Rupert
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:45 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance
Replies: 44
Views: 5081

Re: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance

State Farm is paying either way -- either on the other driver's liability policy or on your collision policy. So they should have already told you to get your car repaired. Have they? Just about everything else -- whether the other driver gets a ticket, shows up for court, or ever talks to State Far...
by Rupert
Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Husband rear-ended, driver ignoring his insurance
Replies: 44
Views: 5081

Re: Auto accident today

About 10 years ago I caused an accident that resulted in about $40,000 damages to my car and the other guy's truck. My auto insurance rate (with Allstate) did not increase - at all. In fact, the next year, my rate went down. There is absolutely no good reason not to report this accident to your insu...
by Rupert
Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:12 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Auto accident today
Replies: 33
Views: 2634

Re: Telling my friends I paid off my houses was a mistake.

I find that people who are addicted to spending money do not like being confronted with persons who live differently; they especially don't like being confronted with persons who are addicted to saving money. They prefer to believe that everyone lives as they do. It's a way of rationalizing their ow...
by Rupert
Mon Aug 25, 2014 2:12 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Telling my friends I paid off my house was a mistake.
Replies: 73
Views: 10340

Re: Recalled baby crib - modify to donate to charity?

We've got one of the baby cribs with a removable side that was pulled off the market a few years ago for safety reasons. It has a sliding removable side. The safety issue involved the side pushing out allowing the baby's head to become trapped. It's a very nice crib and we'd like to donate it after...
by Rupert
Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:45 am
 
Forum: Personal Consumer Issues
Topic: Recalled baby crib - modify to donate to charity?
Replies: 10
Views: 620

Re: Starting 403b for company

As others have noted, there are some advantages to going with a 403b over a 401k. For example, there's an additional catchup contribution available to some employees in a 403b that is not available in a 401k. The downside is that many vendors decline to administer 403b plans because they are less fa...
by Rupert
Sat Aug 23, 2014 8:11 am
 
Forum: Investing - Theory, News & General
Topic: Starting 403b for company
Replies: 4
Views: 380

Re: Riders for home insurance?

placeholder wrote:What is the special computer coverage?


My homeowner's policy caps the amount they'll pay to replace a home computer. If you have a lot of or particularly expensive equipment, you need a rider to cover that. It works just like the jewelry rider.
by Rupert
Wed Aug 20, 2014 2:01 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Riders for home insurance?
Replies: 3
Views: 282

Re: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?

Many of these laws have been on the books forever but have been rarely enforced. I've long suspected that if/when entitlement plan benefits begin to shrink in the coming decades states might start enforcing these laws again as a way to keep the elderly off state public assistance. The burden will sh...
by Rupert
Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:37 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Will you have to pay your parent's long term care costs?
Replies: 57
Views: 4018

Re: Riders for home insurance?

If you live in an historic district or other unique neighborhood, you might consider something I think is called a "regulatory rider." It often costs more to rebuild in such places because you have to comply with the special rules that apply to historic or other unique neighborhoods.
by Rupert
Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:17 am
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Riders for home insurance?
Replies: 3
Views: 282

Re: Using an advisor for fudiciary guidance

My small company retains an advisor for our 403(b) plan who provides almost exactly the same services you list with only a few exceptions. We hired him to conduct a fiduciary review of our plan a few years ago and liked him so much we kept him on to market our plan and then advise our plan committee...
by Rupert
Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:26 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: Using [a 401(k)] advisor for fiduciary guidance
Replies: 28
Views: 2412

Re: identity theft - stolen rental car

Definitely visit the Federal Trade Commission's website. It's a great resource with step-by-step instructions for victims of identity theft. If I were him, I'd freeze my credit with all three reporting bureaus. It's a hassle. So tell him to prepare to spend some time on it. That will prevent any fut...
by Rupert
Tue Aug 19, 2014 4:57 pm
 
Forum: Personal Finance (Not Investing)
Topic: identity theft - stolen rental car
Replies: 2
Views: 577
Next

Return to advanced search